PETALING JAYA: Hardship can bring the best out of a player.
And a group of Malaysian former national shuttlers, led by Lee Wan Wah, are ready to fend for themselves in the world championships in Hyderabad next month.
Wan Wah, who parners Choong Tan Fook, and another pair Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng together with singles shuttlers Wong Choong Hann and Lee Tsuen Seng are the independent players who qualified on merit for the championships.
The status meant that they will not enjoy the same benefits as those from the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) stable at the world meet.
Through their individual sponsorship, they have to take care of their own accommodation, meals and other arrangements.
The priority of the Malaysian support team, comprising experts from the National Sports Institute (NSI), will be on the BAM players.
Wan Wah, who is sponsored by Victor, said that being on their own was something that they have been accustomed to since leaving the national set-up.
“It is not too tough but it is also not all easy. We just have to arrange things for ourselves,” said Wan Wah, who is in Bangkok for the Thailand Open.
“I feel more independent now. In the past, the BAM take care of everything for us. But the BAM have been good to us … they help us with room bookings and some administrative matters. So it’s not too bad. It is a good learning process and we are more than motivated to do well.”
Without pressure on their shoulders, maybe these players can produce the unexpected in their final shot for glory in the world championships.