KUALA LUMPUR: One doubles player overcame stomach cramps and knee pains to win at the Indonesian Open. Another has yet to show up for training since a freak accident.
And the different level of commitment showed by Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Koo Kien Keat over the last one week has drawn mixed reactions from national doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky.
Where are you? Olympic-bound Koo Kien Keat has yet to report for training under national coach Rexy Mainaky.
He has praises for Fairuzizuan, who together with Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif beat the formidable American-Indonesian combination of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan to win the Indonesian Open title last Sunday.
A week earlier in Singapore, Fairuzizuan-Zakry won their first international Open title.
“Fairuzizuan did not give up even though he was not in the best condition. He gave a determined performance and the right attitude helped him win the title,” said Rexy.
The Indonesian attributed the rise of Fairuzizuan and Zakry as a world-beating combination with back-to-back titles to the better commitment of the former.
“It would have been nice if they had been doing this (playing well) since the start of the Olympic qualifying period (May last year). Then Zakry was more focused on the tasks. But now, Fairuzizuan is showing the same desire to excel,” said Rexy.
“They may have missed the boat to the Olympics but they are now the right candidates to replace (Choong) Tan Fook-(Lee) Wan Wah after the Beijing Games. They will prepare for the World Championships (in India) next year.”
Rexy said that he wanted the Olympic-bound doubles players, especially Kien Keat, to be inspired with the recent performances of Zakry-Fairuzizuan.
He was disappointed yesterday that Kien Keat’s return to court for training with his partner, Tan Boon Heong, was delayed again. Kien Keat had been undergoing rehabilitation programme for three weeks since injuring himself in Bukit Jalil when he broke the glass pane that he was leaning on.
“He was supposed to report for training today. All the stitches had been removed but he said he needs two more days. What is he waiting for? Does he want to join training in August?” said Rexy.
The team for the Olympics are scheduled to leave for Beijing on Aug 5.
“I am not expecting him to resume gruelling training immediately. It would be nice if he had come and practised on his serve and slowly get into training mode rhythm.
“It is that little extra and the ability to handle hardship that I hope to see in the players, especially those preparing for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, Rexy confirmed that Zakry-Fairuzizuan will skip the Thailand Open, which begins tomorrow in Bangkok.