Kuala Lumpur: China’s badminton legend, Zhao Jian Hua has urged Malaysian shuttlers, especially those in the men’s singles, to command at least one skill in the game to become a world-class player.
The former 1991 world champion said it was imperative for shuttlers to master skills such as defending, attacking or net play as the sport itself was getting tougher and faster in the current era.
“In today’s era, there are several young talented players but they lack skills in certain aspects. To excel in your game, you must specialise in certain skills as the competition level at the moment is very high,” he noted.
Zhao, 49, was speaking to reporters with the aid of an interpreter during a special press conference at the Sports Arena Sentosa here on Saturday.
He has been hired by the Ampang Jaya Badminton Club as a temporary coach to train the club’s junior players who are currently competing at the Kopiko Purple League held at the venue since November last year.
On another matter, Zhao expressed optimism that the implementation of the 11-point scoring system by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) starting this year would be successful, given that most of the shuttlers were not familiar with the new regulations.
Meanwhile, the former badminton ace – currently head coach of Chinese Super League side, Guangxi Badminton Club – praised the Kopiko Purple League tournament which he dubbed as “more successful than the Chinese Super League” held in China.
“This tournament (Kopiko Purple League) is also a good opportunity for young (Malaysian) shuttlers to hone their skills. For me, the standard of this tournament will certainly be on par with others, if more foreign players were invited to participate,” he noted.
Zhao, who represented China from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s was known for his legendary speed and good techniques in his glory days, and had clinched several titles, including back-to-back gold medals at the 1986 and 1990 Asian Games held in South Korea and China, respectively.