Rashid Sidek (right) hopes the national badminton team can clinch the Thomas Cup. File pic by OWEE AH CHUN

KUALA LUMPUR: The national team have come close on several occasions but have yet to break the duck since they last won the Thomas Cup in 1992.

Malaysia now hope to end their drought when the Thomas Cup gets underway in Bangkok on Sunday.

"We waited for 25 years prior to our success in 1992. This time around it is 26 years, so I am really hoping for luck to be on our side,” said Rashid Sidek, who was part of Malaysia’s 1992 winning team.

"On paper, it does not look easy but it is not impossible. Looking at our lineup this year, we are neither strong nor weak.

"What is more important right now is the team's preparation.

“We already know who we will face in the group stage, so the coaches should already have an idea of who they want to field, based on the strengths and weaknesses of each opponent.”

Malaysia reached four finals since the 1992 success but all ended in defeats.

In the 2016 Kunshan edition, Malaysia were edged 3-2 by eventual champions Denmark.

Rashid said the target in 1992 was to win the title after finishing second in the previous two editions (1988 and 1990).

"It was only in our third consecutive final, that we managed to land the title. We didn't have it easy.

“In fact, we lost 3-2 to South Korea in the opening group tie. However, we bounced back stronger to see off Denmark 5-0, before beating England 4-1 to book our place in the semi-finals.

"In the last-four stage, we upset China 3-2, and then went on to claim the crown with a 3-1 win over Indonesia.

“Back then, the team spirit was something else. We were all hungry for the title, especially after finishing second in the previous two editions.

"Desire and spirit are important elements for a team who do not look strong on paper.

"In 1992, we encouraged each other. We had our misunderstandings and quarrels, but at the end of the day, we put them aside for the good of the team," added Rashid.

This year, Malaysia have been drawn in Group D with defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria.

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