Kuala Lumpur: The Coaching Director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann, was satisfied with the performance of the Malaysian young players who played in the 100PLUS National Junior Ranking Ranking Challenge that took place at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM), Bukit Kiara.
A total of 13 best players from the Malaysian junior team led by BAM’s Director of Youth Development, Datuk Misbun Sidek, participated in the tournament.
“Young players like Wan Muhd Haikal Nazri, Wan Muhd Arif Wan Junaidi, and Justin Hoh show enthusiasm, focus, and their level of maturity significantly beyond what was expected of their age. I think it’s a positive sign,” said Wong to Berita Harian.
He added that both senior and junior players will be given chances to self-assess their performance levels.
“To be a good player, age is not the main factor, but hard work, dedication, and willingness to learn are more important. Anyone who possesses the ability to work harder and push themselves to higher levels would become a role model for other players,” added Wong.
“We do not know their potential until we play them against a stronger opponent. There is no limit to the development of potential and there is still a lot that can be improved and one of them is a physical condition and muscle strength where it requires a long-term plan,” continued Choong Hann.
Meanwhile, Misbun Sidek said his students managed to achieve their goals in the tournament.
“The current Movement Control Order period has encouraged players to play at a different level,” said Sidek.
“We saw men’s singles players managed to beat their seniors on day one of the tournament. When Jacky Kok Jing Hong lost to Ter Chun Long despite leading, it showed that some things needed to be improved,” added Sidek.
He also admitted that there were still gaps in the women’s singles and women’s doubles but the men’s doubles were moving in a positive direction.
“These players showed great potentials and could indeed be trained and taken to the next level. Just give them a little more time to stabilize their skills and we will take them to play at the next level sometime next year so that we can see where their levels are after a few months of training,” explained Sidek.
Meanwhile, the final action on Saturday saw Lee Shun Yang emerged champion for the men’s singles after he defeated Wyman Goh 21-13, 21-10.
“I know his game well, therefore, it was easy to find a win. Overall I am not satisfied with the performance because at the beginning of the competition, I lost at the hands of two junior players,” said Lee.
“I did not think much and continue the game and being in the first place was unexpected,” added Lee.