Tan Kian Meng, mixed doubles world No. 12, has decided to quit the national team of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and will continue his career as an independent player. He was not one of the five players dismissed by the national association on Sunday, but his partner Lai Pei Jing was.
Tan feels he can still qualify for the Olympics with his partner; this has been the reason for his resignation.
“I’ve informed BAM of my decision and they have accepted it. I will continue to play with Pei Jing as a professional player,” the 26-year-old told The Star.
“I’ve not given up hope as I believe Pei Jing and I can still play good badminton. We will continue to pursue our Olympics dream,” he added.
Tan and Lai are currently at No. 13 in the Race To Tokyo rankings below the two other Malaysian pairs, Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (No. 7) and Goh Soon Huat/Lai Shevon Jemie (No. 11). To qualify for the Olympics, they will need to overtake at least one of the other pairs and be ranked within the top 8 at the same time.
Meanwhile, BAM has decided to fund Goh Soon Huat / Lai Shevon Jemie and Soniia Cheah for the Swiss Open and German Open. There will be, however, no financial assistance for the All England Championships as it is not a part of the Olympic qualifiers.
BAM has also confirmed that it will provide “full assistance” to all players, including independent players, who qualify for the Olympics.