BAM technical director extends olive branch to Chong Wei

KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost has extended an olive branch to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in a bid to defuse the escalating tension between the duo.

Frost has drawn up a proposal that is likely to redefine the roles of singles coaches Hendrawan, Tey Seu Bock and Indra Wijaya; tighten the men’s singles training structure and increase the frequency of sparring sessions between seniors and juniors.

BAM’s coaching and training (CNT) committee, under chairman Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to study the proposal.

The strained relationship be­­tween Chong Wei and Frost came out in the open when the shuttler slipped and fell on the slippery court at the Academy Badminton Malaysia two weeks ago.

Three-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei, who tore a medial collateral ligament (MCL), claimed that Frost did not act quickly enough to his request for the slippery mats to be replaced.

The shuttler also said that he was hurt by some “insensitive” remarks made by Frost. Chong Wei even threatened to quit the national team.

But Frost is confident that the long-drawn issue with Chong Wei will be resolved soon.

“I met with Datuk Norza today. This matter has to be treated seriously and carefully. I’ve given the chairman a proposal on how I think we can move forward,” said Frost.

“He has asked me to put the plan into writing and present it at the CNT meeting. I’m extremely sad at the way things have happened ... but let’s try to move forward.

“I’m confident that this problem will be resolved soon.”

Norza, who met Chong Wei and Hendrawan yesterday, said that BAM would tighten the men’s singles structure.

“The current arrangement in the singles department is not working because of these two persons (Chong Wei and Frost), but we’ll get some kind of agreement from them,” said Norza, who is also the BAM deputy president.

“We’ll strengthen the coordination among the singles coaches and communicate the separation of duties and responsibilities clearly.

“I’m happy with the feedback received from Chong Wei, Morten and the coaches. All parties have given their commitment to adhere to the decisions made by the CNT committee. Let’s see whether the tweakings will be workable and palatable to all.”

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