KUALA LUMPUR: From the past to the present – Morten Frost has given the seal of approval to Wong Choong Hann as the right man for the coaching director post with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
The 60-year-old, who resigned as BAM’s technical director after serving from 2015-2017, however, is unsure whether his successor Choong Hann can help replicate the success at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – where they won three silver medals – at the Tokyo Games next year.
During Frost’s first two-year stint as the coaching director in 1997, Choong Hann was one of the top singles players in the national team under his charge.
As one who has worked with Choong Hann and held the high post, Frost expressed his full confidence in the Malaysian who was given the mandate to head the coaching and training department last year.
“I’m sure Choong Hann will do a good job as he is a hard worker and he will do everything possible to make it work. I’ve no doubts,” said Frost.
“For him, there is nothing like office hours, and he will work 24/7 to improve Malaysian badminton.”
While brimming with confidence over Choong Hann’s ability to whip the team into shape, Frost warned BAM to act fast as other badminton nations were also working equally hard and producing talented players.
“Spain have produced an Olympic and world champion in Carolina Marin. That would have never happened 20 years ago,” said Frost.
“So one can’t just say ‘because I work hard I deserve to win’. The whole world is working hard, and it’s about who has the best ability to end it well.”
Frost, who is currently working as a commentator with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), said he has continued to keep a close eye on the progress of Malaysian badminton.
“Based on current performances, it is not looking so good. I don’t think I’m the only one saying that, but a lot can happen in 18 months,” said Frost.
“We prepared very well in 2016 and I felt we had a very good tournament. But I’m sure as we get closer to 2020, the players will start to perform better.
“It’ll be interesting to see whether the young players can become good enough in a short time because 18 months is a short time for a young player.
“Whether a player like Lee Zii Jia can push forward to be a contender at the Olympics in 2020 looks like a tall order.”
Frost was back in town as an ambassador for the Pocket Spine Doc, a back pain evaluation and treatment mobile application.
“I had severe back pain in January last year, so I sought help from Dr Morten (Zebitz Steiness) on my slip disc, he gave me some exercises, I was pain-free after a few weeks,” said Frost.
“I was then asked if I wanted to be an ambassador and I didn’t hesitate because there are so many people around the world who are suffering from it.”