PETALING JAYA: National badminton ace Lee Chong Wei did not openly declare it, but it’s obvious that he wants Hendrawan to continue coaching him for one last shot at a major title – the World Championships in Glasgow next year.
The 43-year-old Indonesian was instrumental in helping Chong Wei get back on his feet after an eight-month doping suspension.
Returning to action in May last year, Chong Wei took just 14 months to work his way back to the world No. 1 spot in June.
Chong Wei has also won nine titles along the way – besides claiming silver at last year’s World Championships in Jakarta and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last week.
Hendrawan’s contract is set to expire at the end of December and Chong Wei believes it will be a no-brainer for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to offer him an extension.
“His contributions speak for themselves ... I think he (Hendrawan) has proven himself and everyone can see what he has done for me,” said Chong Wei.
“Under his guidance, I fought my way back to the world No. 1 spot in just 14 months. I was at No. 182 when I first returned from suspension.
“In the last six years, he has groomed other good singles players like Iskandar (Zulkarnain Zainuddin). So, Hendrawan’s presence is not only important for me, but also to the entire singles department.
“Hendrawan has certainly given a lot to the team ... but so has coach (Tey) Seu Bock.
“It will be up to the BAM to decide on whether to retain them or not, but I hope both Hendrawan and Seu Bock will stay on and be part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic project.”
Chong Wei has been training under Seu Bock since 2010, with assistance from former singles chief coach Rashid Sidek and Hendrawan.
Hendrawan was then tasked by BAM technical director Morten Frost to handle Chong Wei when the shuttler had finished serving his doping suspension.
Frost was certainly spot-on in trusting Hendrawan, a world champion in 2001.
Hendrawan was certainly up to the task, although Chong Wei fell short in his bid to nail the elusive Olympic gold.
Chong Wei and seven other Olympic medallists – men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and synchro divers Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong (all silver) and cyclist Azizulhasni Awang (bronze) – were rewarded with cash incentives totalling RM315,000 by XOX Mobile at a ceremony yesterday for their achievements in Rio.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying and Azizulhasni were absent yesterday.
XOX Mobile rewarded the silver medallists with RM60,000 each (the pairs shared the amount equally) and the bronze medallist RM25,000.
Chong Wei received a total of RM110,000, including RM50,000 for doing the XOX Mobile proud as its brand ambassador.