Wan Wah is all right (pic)


KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Lee Wan Wah passed a medical test yesterday and he will get himself ready to participate in the men's doubles event of the Beijing Olympics in August.

However, Choong Tan Fook had mixed reactions over news that his partner had been given a clean bill of health from a shoulder injury picked up at the Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta two weeks ago.

He is disappointed that for all the hard work that they had put in over the last one-year to qualify for their third Olympics, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are contemplating dropping them.

Doubts over the fitness of Wan Wah had prompted the BAM coaching and training committee to postpone the naming of the men's pairs for the Olympics.


A real torment: BAM to make a final decision on Friday whether Wan Wah (left) and Tan Fook will make the cut to the Beijing Olympic Games.

They said on Saturday, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif would be considered for the Games if medical tests on Wan Wah turned out unfavourable.

BAM general manager Kenny Goh said yesterday that they would make a final decision on Friday on the pair to join Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong for the Beijing Games.

“The test (at the National Sports Institute) showed that I was only suffering from a minor muscle strain. It is all right now. The injury could have gotten worse if I had played during the Thomas Cup Finals,” said Wan Wah.

“I am confident that I will be going to Beijing. They (the BAM) have no reason now not to select Tan Fook and I for the Games. I am not injured.”

Tan Fook said that the uncertainly over their participation in the Games even though they had qualified as the fourth ranked pair in the world was tormenting for them for the last one week.

“I knew Wan Wah's injury was not serious. We have about three months more to the Olympics and Wan Wah could get back on his feet in matter of days. I can't understand why we had to go through this at this stage,” he said.

Tan Fook added that it was unfair to question their position in the squad.

“One year ago, despite our age and our condition, we were given the task to qualify for the Olympics. Like everyone else, we worked hard, got up early in the morning for training and sacrificed so much for the sport,” he said.

“We made the top 16 cut as the country's best pair. Then they tell us we may not get to go. This is not right. If they were not serious with us, they should have asked us to stop even before the qualifying season began.”

Despite their condition, Tan Fook said that they had always given their best.

“It is unfortunate that I got ill at the Thomas Cup Finals. My condition was bad. At that time, I thought that the best decision for the team was to field another player, who was in a better condition,” he said.

“In the past, Wan Wah and I played on despite adversities. During the World Championships and China Open last year, Wan Wah had fever but he still played. We have never taken our responsibilities as players in the national team lightly.”

At the World Championships and China Open, Wan Wah-Tan Fook emerged as Malaysia's best performers – reaching the semi-finals.

At the last two Olympics, Tan Fook-Wan Wah failed to get among the medallists and they hope to succeed in their last attempt.


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