KUALA LUMPUR: Two immediate actions will be taken against the national elite back-up shuttlers following their wishy-washy performances in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC), which ended in Suwon, South Korea, yesterday.
National chief coach Rashid Sidek will cut down on the number of international tournaments for the four second liners — Tan Chun Seang, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren. He also wants to make it compulsory for them to attend a weekly motivation class.
Rashid said that his frustration was at its height following the elimination of all the four players in the first round of the ABC.
“I would not have been this upset if they had given fighting shows in the ABC. Their level of commitment in a tournament is like a yo yo,” he said.
“I push them hard in training. I give them moral support. But they do not walk their talk. They say a lot of things, about their goals and targets, but they are unable to achieve them.”
Rashid added that he would be selective of his players for international competitions, especially for four consecutive tournaments in June — the Philippines Open (June 2-7), Singapore Open (June 9-14), Indonesia Open (June 16-21), Malaysia Gold Grand Prix (June 23-28).
“They can forget about going for all these tournaments in June. I will discuss with the management and they will only be selected for one or two tournaments,” said Rashid.
“It is no longer about exposure for this group of players. They have to go out and win titles or live up to certain expectations. If they cannot meet this, it is best that they leave the team.”
For now, only Chun Seang has been named as a reserve for the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships in Guangzhou from May 10-17.
Chun Seang was picked for scoring upset wins over seeded players Nguyen Tine Minh of Vietnam and India’s Anup Sridhar en route to a quarter-final appearance in the recent India Open.
Rashid said that he hoped that weekly motivation talk would also change the mind set of the under-performing players.
“Whether they like it or not, they have to attend the talk. I will make arrangements with the NSI (National Sports Institute) to instil confidence in them,” he said.
“I am pleased with their physical condition and in fact, I am not too worried about their skills. But what is lacking is their self-confidence.
“I have faith in these players and hopefully, they will be able to stand out in future tournaments.”