Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will be reshuffle the national team as preparation to ensure Malaysia continues to be the main challenger for medals in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
According to BAM honorary-secretary, Ng Chin Chai, the national badminton governing body made the decision to reshuffle even before the national squad left for Rio de Janeiro.
“We had proposed to reshuffle (the national squad) after the Olympics sometime ago, so we will do that to meet our targets in the next four years and improve on our medal collection,” he told reporters on his return from the Rio Olympics at the KLIA here yesterday.
The national badminton squad produced a very inspiring performance at the just concluded Rio Olympics when Datuk Lee Chong Wei clinched his third silver medal in the men’s singles, while the men’s doubles pair of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying also created upsets to collect the silver medal.
Another silver medal of the country was contributed by the diving pair of Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Cheong Jun Heong through the synchronished 10m platform event while cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang delivered a bronze medal in the men’s keirin race for Malaysian’s best ever Olympics medal haul of four silver and one bronze medals.
Commenting on the status of national singles coach, Hendrawan of Indonesia, who is now guiding Chong Wei, Chin Chai said the association would continue with his service even if Chong Wei decides to retire before Tokyo 2020.
“We will continue to engage Hendrawan as his contract is still running. However, we will discuss with Chong Wei on preparations for Tokyo, whether he is still interested to play or not. After that, we will review whether to let Hendrawan continue coaching him (Chong Wei) or other players.
“Chong Wei will be resting and we will discuss at a suitable juncture with Hendrawan and technical director Morten Frost. If he is willing to play up to Tokyo, then it is very good…age is not a factor so long as he is willing to play and is not injured and can maintain his fitness,” he said.
Chin Chai said BAM was aware that it was difficult to find a replacement for Chong Wei and was planning to produce several players in the top 10 world ranking so that Malaysia will continue to be a major challenger for medals at the Olympics.