SINGAPORE: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost can afford a confident smile.
At the draw for the team event on Tuesday, the national men’s team are seeded joint third-fourth and will meet Cambodia in the quarter-finals (first round) on Wednesday.
With former world No.1 Lee Chong Wei back in the fray, they should progress to the semi-finals to set up a clash with defending champions Indonesia.
The women’s team, also seeded joint third-fourth, will meet Vietnam in the quarter-finals.
If they progress, they will also face Indonesia in the last four.
Despite the incredibly tough draw, especially for the men’s team, Frost believes it is a good challenge and he is confident they will pull through.
“It is a nice challenge to have and I believe it is 50-50 for both our men and women’s teams,” said Frost at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I like that our women are facing Indonesia instead because Thailand are a stronger team with their strength in the women’s singles.
“I would have preferred our men’s team not meeting Indonesia so early but sometimes that is how it is.
“The Indonesians are very strong with their young men’s singles shuttlers playing very well at the Indonesian Open last week.
“But they are still young and I like our chances, although we must perform in order to beat them. I am fairly confident in my players’ abilities to step up.
“Either way, I’m happy that we have to play one match first before the semi-finals.
“The court here has a strong drift and it would be good for the players to familiarise themselves first before the bigger challenge,” he said.
Malaysia have not won the men’s team event since clinching the title 10 years ago in Manila.
In contrast, the women bagged the gold medal at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.