Coaches in BAM set-up on tenterhooks after Olympics postponement

  • Badminton
  • Sunday, 05 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year (July 23-Aug 8) could jeopardise the positions of several coaches in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Datuk Tey Seu Bock and Rosman Razak, head coaches of the women’s singles and women’s doubles departments, were supposed to remain in charge until the Olympics which was originally scheduled from July 24-Aug 9.

Given the situation, it remains unknown whether BAM will make any drastic changes to the existing coaching set-up. Furthermore, most of the coaches, including coaching director Wong Choong Hann, are contracted until the end of the year.

Seu Bock and Rosman will be the ones feeling the heat as their departments were deemed unsatisfactory earlier in January by the coaching and training (CNT) committee.

Seu Bock is assisted by Loh Wei Sheng while Rosman’s assistant is Wong Pei Tty.

Like the players, all coaches will be assessed for their first quarter’s performance at the end of April. But this process could be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria had promised during a BAM Council meeting in January to give Seu Bock and Rosman extra time to turn things around. Apparently it is not going well when he said only a “miracle” can save them.

But to the two coaches’ credit, they did well to guide the women’s team to qualify for the Uber Cup Finals on merit after finishing in the top four at the Asia Team Championships in Manila in February.

It marked the only third time Malaysia made the cut on merit 2004 and 2008 .

Singles shuttlers Soniia Cheah and S. Kisona were among those who impressed, so were fearless young doubles pair Pearly Tan Koong Le-M. Thinaah.

Kisona proved her SEA Games gold was no fluke when she upset Japan’s Aya Ohori while Pearly-Thinaah delivered the winning point by taking the second doubles tie to help Malaysia beat Taiwan 3-1 which sealed Malaysia’s ticket to Finals in Aarhus, Denmark in August.

Choong Hann said all the coaches, including himself, remain committed to their tasks, despite the postponement of the Olympics.

Their contracts, said Choong Hann, is for the top management to decide.

“This happened with every national team. The only thing that we need to do now is to keep executing what has been planned so far,” said Choong Hann.

“At the moment we are looking to maintain the coaching structure. But with the extended time frame, we will continuously look for ways to strengthen our coaching team to help our players perform better. This is an ongoing process.”

Asked if he is confident of getting the mandate to lead the coaching set-up beyond this year, Choong Hann said: “It’s not for me to judge. I’ll just do my best.”

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Wong Choong Hann , badminton , BAM


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