KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s doubles shuttler Goh V Shem has brushed aside suggestions that he and partner Tan Wee Kiong quit the national team to escape the immense scrutiny and criticism by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
V Shem, 29, said they just felt it’s time for them to leave and pave the way for the younger shuttlers to move up the ranks.
This comes after the BAM had repeatedly stressed that the national team’s main priority now is to develop Under-21 shuttlers.
“The BAM had made it clear from last year that they would be focusing more on bringing up the Under-21 players,” said V Shem.
“We understand the direction they are heading. It’s good that the BAM intend to create more young world beaters to represent the country.
“Being the ‘older’ guys in the team, we shall not disrupt our juniors from progressing.
“That’s the main reason why we left. There’s no problem whatsoever with the management, coaches and training.
“However, leaving BAM – a place where I spent 16 years at – was surely one of the hardest to make in my entire career.”
V Shem-Wee Kiong have been subjected to harsh criticism of late due to their below-par performances. They were also issued a four-month ultimatum until April to buck up.
But the Rio Olympic silver medallists decided not to take up the challenge by quitting.
“The decision has got nothing to do with us being unable to cope with the pressure. We’ve been competing for many years now – we’re used to it and handle it pretty well,” said V Shem.
“It could be a good thing now that we’ve turned independent. We’ll be handling everything on our own now. Maybe with that, we’ll be able to appreciate more of the effort we make and are fired up to do better.”
As for the timing of them quitting just two weeks after their mixed doubles teammates Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, V Shem claimed it was a coincidence.
“It was not planned. Although we were aware of their intention (to quit) too, we did not plan to leave together,” said V Shem.
“It’s not a surprise that we had the same thoughts. Both Peng Soon and Liu Ying are about the same age as us, we just want to try a different and fresh approach.”