KUALA LUMPUR: Former men’s doubles specialist Razif Sidek is back in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) fold after 16 years and he is eager to contribute to the sport in the country.
The 51-year-old has been invited to assist newly-appointed Talent Manage-ment Group (TMG) director Tan Aik Mong. Razif will be heading the independent assessors’ unit, which will evaluate the players and coaches at all levels.
Razif did the country proud when he won the country’s first Olympic medal – a bronze – with his brother Jalani at the 1992 Atlanta Games. He also won the All-England doubles title with Jalani in 1982 and was a member of the 1992 Thomas Cup winning team.
He was also once the chief coach from 1994-1996.
Razif, an outspoken critic of BAM in the past, said he was honoured by Aik Mong’s move to rope him in to revive Malaysian badminton.
“I am surprised but thankful. I cannot believe that I am back in the picture after so many years,” said Razif, who now spends his time coaching independent players like Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Zakry Abdul Latif, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Vountus Indra Mawan.
“Aik Mong has not briefed me on my role, but I know I will be helping him out in the planning sector. I sincerely want Malaysian badminton to rise again.”
Razif said that he had worked with Aik Mong on a different capacity before.
“I was in the national team in 1980s when Aik Mong was the chairman of the coaching and training committee. He is quite strict and means business. As I player, I was in trouble with him before. But it’s all in the past,” he said.
Besides Razif, the other confirmed member of the assessors’ unit is world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.
Former international Cheah Soon Kit is the next expected to be roped in. Aik Mong is also looking for another three more former internationals to make it a six-member unit.
Besides the national team, the unit will also assess the players and coaches at state and school levels. They will also scout for talents to be drafted into the national team.