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Tuesday June 25, 2013

Shuttlers kicked out of training venue as Sukma takes precedence

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Championships-bound shuttlers were not smiling after a hard day’s work at their national training centre in Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

Besides having to deal with the worsening haze in the country, they have been told that they cannot use the stadium from today onwards as it will be used for the 16th Malaysia Games (Sukma). The Games begin on Thursday and the netball event will be held there.

The shuttlers, who are preparing for the world meet in Guangzhou from Aug 5-11, can only resume training at the stadium on July 8.

With the move to accommodate Sukma, the national coaches will now have to find their own venues for training.

It will also mean that the singles and doubles players will not be training together.

All of them will now have to travel from their hostel to all the different venues, raising the risk of getting injured.

Even the 60 members of the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) junior programme are affected as they will have to move to another venue.

The players are preparing for the Asian Junior Championships in Sabah next month.

A player, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “Is Sukma or the World Championships more important? For us, the world meet is a major event and we just have a few more weeks to prepare.

“The Badminton Association of Malaysia should have known that this is not the right time for them to move us around.

“There is also the risk of getting injured. The environment for training will also not be as conducive as the national centre.

“One cannot help but feel like a football, being kicked around. Then, they keep telling everyone they are providing the best facilities and support. It is high time that we get our own centre so that we do not have to face problems like this.”

On the haze condition in the country, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei said they were taking all the necessary precautions.

“We are taking plenty of fluid and are avoiding spending time outdoors.

The haze has even seeped through inside the stadium.

“Some of us are having breathing difficulties and our coaches are tapering down some of our workouts during training.

“We just have to make do with the situation and not let it hamper our preparations,” added the two-time Olympic silver medallist.

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