KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria is beaming with pride over the juniors’ good show in the BAM Invitational Championships.
Norza, who was awarded the Tan Sri title yesterday, said their move to strengthen the coaching and training set-up under the charge of Wong Choong Hann has brought positive results.
In the two-week tournament, several back-up shuttlers such as Ng Tze Yong and Leong Jun Hao performed better than the seniors.
“Besides restructuring, we also invited the independent players to train together with us. These decisions have brought positive impact,” said Norza.
“The meet was competitive as national players and the professionals fought hard for glory.”
He pointed out that it was good to see the second liners step up as only Lee Zii Jia and Cheam June Wei had been holding the fort for the men’s singles department in the post-Lee Chong Wei era.
Norza, however, said the work was far from over.
“Hopefully, our sports science team will address fitness issues involving a few of our players,” he said.
“Playing lengthy matches are part and parcel of the sport. They will need to find ways to build resilience in our players.”
The tournament saw three singles players – Zii Jia, Liew Daren, Soong Joo Ven and mixed doubles shuttler Goh Soon Huat bowing out early through cramps and injuries.
Meanwhile, BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh congratulated Norza on behalf of the association for receiving the Darjah Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) award, which carries the title Tan Sri.
“We are proud and happy for him as this is a recognition of his hard work and immense contribution to badminton. He truly deserves it,” said Kenny.
Norza, who’s also the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, is one of the 12 recipients of the title at the 2020 Federal Awards in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s birthday.
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