Choong Hann: Shuttlers can succeed under tighter rules

Wong Choong Hann

PETALING JAYA: It’s all up to the shuttlers to make it work when they begin centralised training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).

If the relevant authorities give the approval and all goes according to plans, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann is expecting to start their training in batches from June 1, although an earlier start would be better.

National shuttlers have not been training since Malaysia imposed the movement control order (MCO) on March 18 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other countries have already started training, BAM’s full-time trainees have been confined to doing minimal physical training at home.

Choong Hann said training can start any time as they have put in place plans to accommodate limited movements in the training centre without compromising on the health nor the quality of training of the shuttlers.

Shuttlers and coaches will be housed in ABM’s hostel and they will not be allowed to travel outside for the first 14 days once the training starts.

The first batch players to utilise the training facilities are those involved in the Road to Tokyo programme involving 18 to 20 players. The same players will also be gearing up for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals from Oct 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark.

There are 18 courts in ABM but not all will be utilised. Choong Hann has drafted a plan to use only selected courts.

“It’s all about players’ discipline, ” said Choong Hann.

“The beginning of the training will be tough as there are new rules to follow. It’ll be uncomfortable but players must know that it’s done for their own good and safety.

“There is about a two-metre gap between each court. It will not be a problem to practise social distancing inside the stadium.

In fact, the movements outside of the training centre will also be monitored.

“There will be selected pathways from the hostel to the training centre. Different groups will use different routes.

“This is to minimise the impact, in case there are health issues. Then, only a small cluster will be affected, ” he said.

“Once we are happy with the movement of the first batch, we will then get the second batch of shuttlers to start training. We will also keep tabs on the movements of the support team – physical trainers and cleaners.”

Choong Hann said BAM should make up for lost time regarding training.

“We’ve observed what the Europeans are doing. They’ve started training without problems although most of them travel to the training centre from home, ” he said.

“We hope to get cracking soon too.”

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