KUALA LUMPUR: The two national men’s doubles pairs for the Beijing Olympics will have a break from their routine daily training sessions when they go for a two-day camp at the Genting Highlands on Wednesday.
Coach Rexy Mainaky has decided to give Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong a change of environment in a bid to inject fresh enthusiasm into their game ahead of the Olympics.
It is also aimed at easing the pressure on the pairs, who are considered as the medal prospects in the Olympics before they go into centralised training camp at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara here.
Earlier this week, national singles coach Misbun Sidek took his charges, Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo, to Genting Highlands for similar reasons.
For veteran doubles shuttler Wan Wah, it will be a much welcomed break. The load in training has increased and Wan Wah felt the strain, asking to be excused from the afternoon session three days’ ago.
But the 34-year-old Wan Wah, whose participation in the Beijing Games next month was in doubt after he picked up a back injury at the Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta in May, brushed aside fears of any worries of injury.
“I had been training too hard. I felt that my body needed to shut down and asked the coach for permission to skip a session,” he said.
“The intensity of our workouts has increased in the last one month. We usually go through 20 minutes of training and another 30 minutes of sparring. Now it's 40 and 40.
Wan Wah and the 33-year-old Tan Fook will be playing in their third Olympics and they are the fourth seeds.
“It’s good that we will have the camp, especially for older players like us. We need more time to recover (from a strenuous session) and it’s good to go somewhere else for a change. There will still be physical sessions but the emphasise on badminton will be less,” said Wan Wah.
Unlike previous Olympics, the field doubles competitions in Beijing will involve only 16 pairs and Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who are the world number five, will not be seeded.
Also tagging along to the camp in Genting Highlands are the rest of the doubles pairs in the national team.
Malaysia have three medals to show thus far in the Olympics – all from badminton.
The men’s doubles pair of Razif-Jalani Sidek took bronze when the sport made its Olympic debut in Barcelona in 1992. At the next Games in Atlanta, the pair of Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock won the silver and Rashid Sidek took the men's singles bronze.