Misbun takes shuttlers’ setbacks in his stride

Lacklustre show: Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin failed to win an individual medal at the recent KL SEA Games.

KUALA LUMPUR: There have been more heartbreaks than joy in the men’s singles in the last two months.

But their head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek is taking it all in his stride.

The country’s top two singles players – Lee Chong Wei and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin – failed to deliver at last month’s World Championships and at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games respectively.

Chong Wei lost in the first round while Iskandar failed to win an individual medal.

Youngster Lee Zii Jia, touted to be the future star, froze in his SEA Games debut.

The only bright spark was the emergence of Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao in Jakarta last month.

Misbun admitted that the men’s singles department was still fragile and quick actions are needed ahead of the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok in May next year.

“We have the talents but there’s no results,” said Misbun, who joined the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on July 1.

“I have been here for eight weeks and there are still lots to do. I have an idea on the strengths and weaknesses of every player. We will now have specific plans for them.”

While he vowed to fast track the progress of the back-up shuttlers, Misbun said Chong Wei’s defeat was not an indication of the former world No. 1 decline in form.

“I have returned with new ideas after seven years. Chong Wei has trained under different coaches. There could have been some confusion. Probably, he had too much of respect for me to say anything,” said Misbun.

“We have some things to work on for sure but I’m confident Chong Wei will continue to be on top of his game for some time.”

Misbun will meet BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria tomorrow to discuss his plans together with the other national coaches and technical director Morten Frost.

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Sport , Badminton , Misbun Sidek , singles


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