KUALA LUMPUR: National shuttlers without outstanding results over the next few months will face the axe. And chief coach Yap Kim Hock has made it clear that it is not just mere talk this time.
Yesterday, the joint Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and the National Sports Council (NSC) working committee gave the green light to his proposal to form a smaller national squad.
Kim Hock said that he made the suggestion for the coaches to concentrate on a smaller but better quality team for the Olympics next year.
“This means that there will be an immediate review of the players in all departments of the national set-up. I will work closely with the coaches in the next one month to identify the players and to draw up new programmes for the Beijing Games,” he said.
“We will monitor the performance of the players over the next few months and they will have to go if they do not show any good results.”
Kim Hock's proposal came in the wake of a disappointing performance in the recent World Championships in Bukit Jalil. High hopes were placed on Lee Chong Wei and the top men's pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong but a world title remained elusive.
Expectations are even higher for the Olympics and Kim Hock is taking drastic measures to zoom in their focus.
“What is the point of giving attention to a big number of players when only a few have the potential to go far? It is better to have a small group of quality players. The coaches can give better focus on their preparation for the Olympics,” he said.
“For now, there is no plans to promote any new player to the elite squad.”
The squad now have the most number of men's doubles players. Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the others pairs in the team are Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock, Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thien How and Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui.
Together with Chong Wei in the men's singles department are Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong, Wong Choong Hann, Yeoh Kay Bin and K. Yogendran.
The women's department has only one singles player in Wong Mew Choo and three doubles pairs – Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, Fong Chew Yen-Mooi Hing Yau, Ooi Yu Hang-Ooi Sock Ai. The only mixed doubles pair in the squad are Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei.