KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has directed chief coach Yap Kim Hock and top men's singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei to make peace and get on to do their jobs well.
Chong Wei had taken a swipe at Kim Hock after suffering a whitewash by Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the third round of the recent World Championships.
He reiterated yesterday that his grouses against Kim Hock included putting pressure on him in his preparation for the world championships; treating him indifferently since he requested to train under Misbun Sidek in March; and taking sides in executing his job.
Nadzmi said after having a heart-to-heart talk with Chong Wei for an hour at the BAM's office in Bukit Kiara yesterday that he was satisfied with the player's explanation of his personal problems with Kim Hock Nadzmi also had a talk with Kim Hock for 30 minutes.
Chong Wei has not been on talking terms with Kim Hock since the big flop at the world championships. Yesterday, they tried their best to avoid each other.
Nadzmi concluded that Chong Wei needed to grow up to be a more mature player while Kim Hock had to be more tactful in his approach in handling the players and coaches.
“As I have promised, we carried out an investigation on the outbursts of Chong Wei and why he performed so poorly at the world championships,” said Nadzmi.
“I know that they are not talking to each other now. I do not want to make any judgment but I think Chong Wei had his own perception over the way Kim Hock had treated him.
“It is something that can be managed in a positive way. I hope to see both taking the initiative to improve their relationship. I hope this issue will not be aggravated into a big crisis between coach and player.
“I am very sure that this is a learning experience for Chong Wei to be more mature. He needs to grow up as a player. I asked Chong Wei whether he wanted to give up the sport or move on. And he was determined to move forward. I am happy with that.”
However, Nadzmi said that he did not condone Chong Wei's outbursts after his defeat, which clearly showed disrespect to Kim Hock. But he was happy that the world number four admitted his mistake.
“It's a natural tendency for one to blame the other in the heat of the moment. But Chong Wei regretted what he did and that is good enough for me,” said Nadzmi.
On speculations that there were outside interferences and involvement with bookies, Nadzmi said: “I know that after the defeat, people speculated on gambling and match-fixing. But Chong Wei has denied any involvement in them. He said that he is young and is not about to spoil his future in badminton.”
On Kim Hock, Nadzmi said that he should try to be creative in handling his players.
“He must also grow up in his job as chief coach. I know this is a personal attack on him but he has to handle it well. How is he going to change the perception the players have in him? He must be smart and creative in his approach,” he said.
On the reason for Chong Wei's failure in the world championships, Nadzmi was happy that both player and coach came up with the same analysis.
“Chong Wei said he was over confident and panicked when Sony played well. Kim Hock agreed on this too.,” he said.
“We take it as a bitter lesson. I hope to see the players and coaches get back on track for the Olympics.”