KUALA LUMPUR–Malaysia's coach slammed his star shuttlers for failing to reach Sunday's world championship finals, accusing some of acting like prima donnas.
Malaysia, hosting the world championships for the first time, had been gunning for its first-ever world title, with thousands of home fans packing Putra Stadium hoping for victory.
But world number three Lee Chong Wei was bundled out in the third round while doubles duo Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, ranked number two in the world, were dumped in the quarter-finals.
"The players are already behaving like champions despite not having won anything," coach Rexy Mainaky told the New Straits Times newspaper.
"If they can't win the world championships at home, what chance do they have in the Olympics?"
The coach said Tan's concentration on the sport was wavering while some singles players were not fully focused on winning.
"It's a big disappointment that we didn't win the world championships and I feel that Koo-Tan could have made the difference if they had won their match," he said.
"I'm not too happy with Tan's commitment in training, as he has lost his concentration. A quiet Tan has become noisy," he said.
He added that veterans doubles players Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah reached the semi-finals because they were committed to working hard.
The pair, often overshadowed by their higher-profile teammates, upset China's world number ones Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun in the quarter-finals before going down fighting in the semis.