Kalua Lumpur (VNA) – Without stars, whether Malaysia’s badminton team can retain their men’s singles and doubles titles at the coming 31st SEA Games in Vietnam remains in doubt, and they are pinning hopes on young shuttlers.

Local media cited coach K. Yogendran of the national men's singles as saying that his young shuttlers have the pedigree to return with medals from Hanoi, but does not want to commit on whether they can retain Malaysia's titles.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia have picked a young team for the 31st SEA Games as seniors like world No 7 Lee Zii Jia and Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists Aaron Chia -Soh Wooi Yik will be competing in the Thomas Cup in Thailand.

While admitting that it will be a tall order to defend the men's singles and doubles titles from three years ago in the Philippines, Yogendran pointed out that nothing is impossible.

For the singles event, Malaysia will be banking on 22-year-old Lim Chong King, Lee Shun Yang, 21; Jacky Kok, 20; and Justin Hoh, 18.

Yogendran said he believes they have a balanced squad of youngsters, who have been training really hard and have been in good form of late, adding he is confident that their players will spring some surprises in Vietnam.

The 31st SEA Games will take place in Hanoi and 11 nearby localities in Vietnam from May 12 to 23, featuring 40 sports with 526 categories./.