THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) is known for being lenient with players but it may have made a grave error in believing men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have what it takes to do well on the international scene, let alone win the World Championships title, in the next 12 months.
President Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh, in justifying the decision not to split the pair, said time and much money had been spent on them and felt that the investment would be repaid by the pair in next August’s World Championships.
What Nadzmi missed out on was the fact that the additional funding that will be spent on Kien Keat-Boon Heong could well be utilised on the rising young pairs or on the new combination of Boon Heong-Goh V Shem, who have the potential to strike at the 2016 Olympics.
BAM has bent backwards numerous times to accommodate Kien Keat-Boon Heong, including their request for a change of coach when they fell out with Rexy Mainaky.
Pang Cheh Chang was their coach of choice but there was not much progress but BAM’s plan for South Korean Yoo Yong Sung to take charge stayed at the proposal level as Kien Keat-Boon Heong were comfortable with what they had.
The decision to maintain the pair contradicted what Nadzmi had said after the London Olympics — that the Kien Keat-Boon Heong partnership had run its course.
Although they made the Olympics semi-finals, Kien Keat-Boon Heong had no answer to eventual champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China and to South Koreans Chung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae in the bronze medal play-off and the group stage meeting.
Those who witnessed the play-off defeat felt the pair just gave up after the Koreans came back to win the first game and having done so at the highest stage of world sports, what guarantee is there that Kien Keat-Boon Heong can turn their fortunes around?
In fact, if BAM is serious in wanting the pair to carry on till the 2016 Olympics, then they should have been set the target of winning the worlds next year as they have already featured in the 2010 final.
And where does BAM’s decision leave the soon-to-be appointed manager — the person who will be in charge of three different projects at one go?
Nadzmi said the manager will have full authority in dealing with players and coaches but what would BAM’s stand be if in six months, a recommendation is made to split Kien Keat-Boon Heong?
Will BAM back the decision or will it allow Kien Keat-Boon Heong to carry on till the World Championships?
And does BAM seriously believe that one person can be in charge of three different projects, considering that gold must be won in the 2016 Olympics?
Wouldn’t it be better if the manager is in charge of the 2016 programme but is assisted by separate individuals for the 2020 and 2024 projects?
Nadzmi said the manager would be held responsible for the success and failure and a question that needs to be asked is what if BAM is not satisfied with the individual and parts ways with him or her two years down the road?
Wednesday’s exco meeting was to prove to Malaysia that BAM had its finger on the pulse but all it did was show everything but that.