Kuala Lumpur: It’s business as usual for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) despite losing two Olympic silver medal pairs – Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles) and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles) within a span of one month.
The president of BAM, Norza Zakaria, said that the resignations of both pairs actually gave BAM a chance to rebuild the Malaysian national team featured a team of younger players.
“This is not the time for us to feel sad with the loss of some players, instead, we should take this opportunity to grow our young players and rebuild the national team,” said Zakaria.
“Previously, we used to focus more on the senior players, but now, we can give our junior players more exposure at international tournaments.”
Zakaria stressed that the BAM has started the full-blown rebuild and the average age in the national squad is now 23 years old and below. It included rosters such as Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadiki (men’s singles), Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) Goh Jin Wei (women’s singles), Pearly Tan/Toh Ee Wei (women’s doubles), Chen Tan Jie, Hoo Pang Ron, Cheah Yee See and Peck Yen Wei (mixed doubles).
“This is also in line with our hope to see more state associations trying to produce quality players. Previously, the process was much dependent on BAM alone in generating world-class players.”
“Furthermore, we also welcome those senior players who have left BAM to continue competing at international tournaments alongside BAM players. Nonetheless, we are all trying to achieve the same goal which is to win medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
Frankly, rebuilding a team would require at least two or three years to bear real fruit. Given that the Olympic qualification will start on April 29, 2019, the timing is against BAM. But, everything is possible, let’s hope those young players could step up into those Olympic spots.