GENTING HIGHLANDS: Two more shuttlers have quit. And speculation is rife that one more is about to leave the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
Hoon Thien How, who won the 2004 world junior title with current partner Tan Boon Heong, and Lim Khim Wah, who won the Malaysian Open with Goh V Shem last year, resigned from the national set-up on Wednesday.
The BAM, still reeling from the setback, suffered another blow with rumours that former world No. 1 men’s doubles player Boon Heong is likely to quit the national team as well.
Several shuttlers, including the likes of Ng Hui Lin, Ng Hui Ern (women’s doubles), Yang Li Lian (women’s singles) and Ong Jian Guo (mixed doubles) have quit the national team in the last few months.
So, is there any truth in the rumours about Boon Heong?
The left-handed Kedahan, who is also understood to be unhappy with the BAM, was guarded in his reply.
“Right now, I’m just training as normal. There are no immediate plans. I was supposed to go to the All-England and Swiss Open with Thien How next month but now he has resigned ...,” said Boon Heong.
“Then, there is the Olympic qualifying which begins soon but it’s actually not a big deal for me.
“I’ve competed in the Olympics ... twice, and maybe it’s a good chance to let others have a go at it.
“As for losing my partner, I don’t have much to say. Everything I’ve requested from the BAM in the past were not granted anyway.”
Boon Heong, who is in Genting Highlands for the Kopiko Purple League Champions Challenge with Kepong BC, said that he respected Thien How’s decision to quit BAM.
“I’ve known of Thien How’s decision to leave since last year. As a partner, he told me about it and I respect his decision,” said Boon Heong.
“I don’t think it’s surprising, though. We all know why he wanted to leave and the reasons why players are unhappy.
“It’s probably got to a point where he just wasn’t enjoying playing badminton anymore.
“Since he had already gone public once, it was only natural for him to walk the talk.
“As former partners and team-mates for so many years, I wish Thien How and Khim Wah all the best ... hopefully, they’ll do well on their own.”
Thien How and Khim Wah’s departure leaves the men’s doubles department acutely short of players, with Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong being the only established pair.