PETALING JAYA: National women’s singles coach Wong Tat Meng has expressed disappointment at Tee Jing Yi’s decision to hastily quit the national team – ahead of the Naypyitaw SEA Games next month.
The 22-year-old Jing Yi, currently ranked No. 70 in the world submitted her resignation to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last Friday.
The Penangite who joined BAM as a 13-year-old had felt that she could no longer contribute to the singles department and wanted to switch to doubles but it was rejected, prompting her decision to quit.
And Tat Meng, who rejoined BAM in October 2012 after a year with the Indonesia national team, believes that Jing Yi has made her decision too fast.
“Honestly, I didn’t know she submitted her resignation letter because I was on leave the past few days. I only found out this morning (Monday)” said Tat Meng.
“I last spoke to her before the Malaysia International Challenge earlier this month and there were no indications that she was going to quit so fast.
“I’m a bit disappointed because she did so at such a crucial time, when Malaysia’s women’s singles is already lacking in depth.
“I understand that she’s from a batch that has been with BAM for a long time and felt that she can’t progress any more. But I told her to give it another year to absorb the training and see how it goes.”
Besides Jing Yi, two other shuttlers – Lydia Cheah and Sannatasah Saniru also quit the national team earlier this year.
Jing Yi’s departure means Tat Meng is only left with a still recovering Sonia Cheah, Yang Li Lian, Lim Chiew Sien, Lim Yin Fun and Sylvia Kavita Kumares. The 19-year-old Chiew Sien, ranked No. 141 in the world is also set to replace Jing Yi in the SEA Games.
The good natured coach is however optimistic of building a strong squad from scratch next year with the inclusion of a few more graduating Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) juniors.
“There’s nothing much I can do except to manage the squad as best I can. I have three players – Ho Yen Mei, Lee Zii Yii and Yap Rui Chen coming in from BJSS next year and hopefully I’ll be able to build a stronger squad,” added Tat Meng.
Meanwhile, BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai said that it will be up to president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff to make a decision regarding Jing Yi.
“I am aware of Jing Yi’s resignation but the president is the one in charge and he will review the case before making a decision,” said Chin Chai.
Given Jing Yi’s untimely decision to quit the team, BAM could hand down a ban similar to that of Tan Chun Seang’s two years ago – from competing in Asia.