World number one Men's singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei says that Malaysia will look to emulate their 2009 performance of a semi-final finish at 2017 Sudirman Cup, starting 21 May in Gold Coast, Australia and that a run to the final will be a bonus for the fifth-seeded team.
Chong Wei will lead his country's campaign at the mixed team tournament, which will witness top shuttlers from across the globe battling for glory. Malaysia are drawn in Group 1C along with inaugural Asia Mixed Team Championships winners Japan and Germany and are favourites to reach the quarter-final.
Having started the year with a title at All England Championships and a runner-up finish at Malaysia Superseries Premier, Chong Wei looks set to clinch crucial wins for Malaysia. Apart from the numero uno, the team also has world number four Men's doubles pairing of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong. While Iskandar Zulkarnain is the other Men's singles shuttler, former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei will feature in Women's singles along with Soniia Cheah.
"V Shem, Wee Kiong, Peng Soon and I have played in the Sudirman Cup before. We have the experience. There are a few new faces like Jin Wei and Yew Sin-Ee Yi but they are very determined," Chong Wei said, as quoted by The Star.
"The team spirit is good. It will be great to reach the semi-finals again. A place in the final will be a bonus. It is all about teamwork and we will fight hard."
10-time champions China have been drawn in Group A along with Thailand and Hong Kong and the top seeds have both the Olympic champions, Chen Long and Lin Dan, in the team.
South Korea, Asia Mixed Team Championships runners-up, will face Chinese Taipei and Russia in the group stages while a strong Indian team will face Indonesia and Denmark in Group 1D.