Basel: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann said Malaysian players needed to show more grit and fighting spirit in order to win matches at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland, starting on Monday.
According to Wong, so far, Malaysian players have gotten used to the stadium and were feeling comfortable to be ready for action, especially the men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia and men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi.
“I hope they can quickly settle into a rhythm and ready to fight even though they will be playing at different play schedules,” said Wong.
He added that each department has its own way of getting ready in Basel.
Lee Zii Jia will open against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho on Monday, while Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi will face German pair Bjarne Geiss/Jan Colin Volker.
“I hope Zii Jia can showed 90 percent of his ability in the first round. He needs to get used to the atmosphere and knows how to handle pressures given by his opponent,” said Wong.
“As for Yew Sin/Ee Yi, they have performed well in their two recent tournaments. I have already discussed with them that they should be more patient during a match while maintaining a great confidence level,” stressed Wong.
Meanwhile, last year’s men’s singles bronze medalist Daren Liew will also be playing in the first round on Monday, facing Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand.
“Can I repeat last year’s performance in Basel? I don’t know. After picking up injury at Malaysia Masters in January, I have been struggling in tournaments,” said Liew.
“But everything is possible, I’ll just need to believe in myself. Just like last year, no one was optimistic about my chances in Nanjing, and I didn’t do well before last year’s World Championships. But hey, I brought back a bronze medal,” added Liew.
If Liew could battle past Phetpradab, he is likely to play No. 5 seeds Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the second round.