Say What

Published: Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Updated: Monday January 27, 2014 MYT 5:49:47 PM

Hard work pays, excuses remain just that

Through sheer hard work and persistence, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei has reached the pinnacle in badminton and become one of the most successful sportsman the country has ever produced. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The Star

Through sheer hard work and persistence, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei has reached the pinnacle in badminton and become one of the most successful sportsman the country has ever produced. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The Star

WHAT a weekend it’s been.

Shuttlers Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah gave Malaysians a pleasant surprise with their men’s doubles win on Sunday.

There was a double dose of the feel-good factor when Lee Chong Wei made it a perfect 10 for himself by winning the Malaysian Open badminton title for the 10th time.

Let’s hope V Shem-Khim Wah are no one-hit wonders. Malaysia is crying out for a dependable men’s doubles partnership since Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong stormed onto the scene not too long ago.

And we all know where Kien Keat-Boon Heong are headed - the scrapyard. Yes, the pair are set to be split up or even discarded for good. They’ve been given far too many chances to get their act right but to no avail. Their egos are just too big, I guess.

So, let’s hope V Shem-Khim Wah do not let success get to them. They have shown that they can mix it up with the big guns and prevail. Keep working hard and keep improving, guys. Don’t be satisfied. Never be satisfied!

Well, at least Malaysian badminton looks like it has a future in the men’s doubles department.

Can we say the same about the men’s singles?

Chong Wei hinted that this may be his last time playing in the Malaysian Open. It was an emotional moment for him when he beat Tommy Sugiarto in Sunday’s final. It was as if he was trying to absorb the whole atmosphere for one final time.

Malaysian badminton is facing a crisis in the men’s singles department – as well as in the women’s singles and doubles.

Who is there to take over the mantle from Chong Wei? Who can fly Malaysia’s flag high at every tournament?

None, thus far. Yes, there were a few but these turned out to be just pretenders to the throne.

And that’s sad, especially for a nation that prides itself as being one of the heavyweights in the world of badminton.

Seeing the decline in men’s singles is like watching a repeat of the downfall of the national football team decades ago.

That’s one path that badminton does not want to go down.

Football in Malaysia is in such a pathetic state - there are so many wrongs and so few rights.

It’s sad to see a team, or rather their head honcho, trying to impose his will on everyone, including sports writers.

You can’t write anything negative about the team or you risk being hauled up, and even banned from covering the team’s training and matches.

Yes, you are expected to write only good things about them – even if they play badly and lose.

Another major ego problem here, wouldn’t you say?

I’ll probably get hauled up for writing this too!

If your team play badly, that’s what we’ll write. So, grow up and accept it.

Get your coaches to work harder and your players to be more committed.

Don’t take it out on us. We are just doing our jobs.

Besides, the matches are viewed on TV and in the stadium. Even if we don’t give it our honest opinion, viewers and fans will know what transpired and they definitely don’t mince their words online and in social media.

There is no hiding the truth in the age of the Internet, so stop banning every daily whose reports do not meet your satisfaction because, believe it or not, life is like that.

You can take criticism and sulk over it, or you can use it as constructive feedback to improve - the choice is yours.

Chong Wei has, over the years, shown us how far hard work, determination, single-mindedness, vision and passion can take you.

He has never looked for excuses nor tried to make others a scapegoat for his failures.

That’s the hallmark of a true champion! Not once has he tried to cover up his own deficiencies by telling off sports writers or banning them from covering his training and matches.

Learn to win humbly and lose graciously.

Sports Editor R. Manogaran believes that the only way Malaysian sport will rise above mediocrity is through meritocracy. The writer also wants Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to stop making senseless statements about going for the English Premier League title and just get on with the job!

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