BAM Director of Youth Development, Datuk Misbun Sidek, described BAM President Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria’s decision to allow young shuttlers to participate in higher-level competitions will pay off in the future.

Datuk Misbun explained that exposure as early as possible is necessary so the performance of the young players can be gauged and to identify the ones with the desired qualities. “From here, we will know and find the talented players.”

“If the young players find it difficult to even win at small tournaments, how can they target major competitions? That’s why it’s crucial to expose the young players, let them gain experience while the coaches evaluate them. Otherwise, we will have many players who are still in the same rut. Tan Sri Norza’s call is really good and I fully support what he’s doing, it is for the future of our nation’s badminton.”

Speaking about the juniors at the 100PLUS Junior Ranking Playoffs which concluded yesterday, Datuk Misbun was pleased with the competitiveness of the young players. He said those lower ranked did not want to slip further down while those in the leading groups wanted to move up higher.”

He added that the youngsters had exceptional stamina. “For me, fitness is everything. It was impressive that the players did not suffer from cramps, sprains during the long matches.”

“This means that their fitness levels have improved significantly, also tactically. The players can now play at a fast pace and defend thanks to their fitness, and this is a development that I am very satisfied with,” said Datuk Misbun.

These players participated in two tournaments, the Internal Junior Ranking from Aug 23-27 and the 100PLUS Junior Ranking Playoffs, which was for 20 players, on Aug 30 and 31.

These tournaments were platforms to determine the junior players’ rankings and a yardstick to gauge their performances.

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