A myriad of stories was in the offing from players and coaches alike after the Malaysian camp three-week sojourn in Bangkok after their participation in two Thailand Open tournaments and the BWF World Tour Finals.
Wong Choong Hann, the Coaching Director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) had maintained that these three Bangkok tourneys will not be used as a yardstick to assess the players.
He said that the three tournaments in Bangkok were the first international events following the players ‘enforced training’ at the Malaysian Badminton Academy (ABM) in Bukit Kiara after the government’s introduction of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
However, Choong Hann will no doubt heap praises on the country’s youngsters following their commendable performances at the two Thailand Open tournaments.
“We can see encouraging results from the women’s doubles, the young mixed doubles and especially from the pairing of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean. Having said that, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done so as to reduce the gap with the world’s best players,” said Choong Hann.
“The men’s doubles show an increase in speed, strength and aggressive play and these can be used for further development with these elements to be the main thrust in their learning process.
“Once they attain stability in finding the right balance between speed and strength, they will be more consistent in winning matches.”
On the performance of the country’s young singles Lee Zii Jia, the BAM coaching staff will review any shortcomings to the existing training program.
“It (Zii Jia’s performance in Bangkok) has definitely given us a ‘warning’ and we will review the shortcomings that occurred in the lead-up to the tournament. Certainly, we have identified the issues and will re-model his (Zii Jia) training plan,” Choong Hann said.
Added men’s singles head coach, Hendrawan: “We admit that he (Zii Ji) did not do well in the three tournaments that he played in. He seemed to have lost confidence and he was hesitant when making decisions.
“We will re-evaluate and improve on his training methodology. It looks like the opposing players were able to read Zii Jia’s playing style quite easily.”
In the meantime, national women’s doubles Meng Yean said that BAM’s initiative in organising internal competitions was of tremendous help for her and partner Chow Mei Kuan when they made it all the way to the semifinals of the BWF World Tour Finals.
“I think BAM’s efforts in organising the internal competitions helped us a lot as it gave us that atmosphere of competition after months of just training alone,” said Meng Yean.
Women’s doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming also shared in the joy of his chargers’ outstanding performance in Bangkok.
“I am pleased with the achievements of the three women’s doubles, including Mei Kuan-Meng Yean who beat Indonesia’s Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu at the BWF World Tour Finals,” said Chong Ming.
“Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah also did well to beat Chang Ye Na-Kim Hye Rin at the Toyota Thailand Open. It is a good sign for them and the women’s doubles coaching staff.
“Their next level of training will be focused on the individuals in terms of skills, speed, and strength.”
Following the Malaysian contingent’s return from Bangkok, all players, officials and coaching staff will undergo a mandatory quarantine process for a week as prescribed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) before returning to the Malaysian Badminton Academy (ABM).