Choong Hann: Worry about Tokyo, not the new scoring system

It’s yours: Lee Zii Jia presenting the racquet he used to win the All-England title to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at a high-tea session at the Istana Negara yesterday. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are neither in favour nor against the proposed 11-point, best-of-five scoring format.

The decision on the new format is expected to take centrestage at the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) annual general meeting next month.

The BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann reckons that no one will lose any sleep should it come into force.

Choong Hann, who had experienced the evolvement of all three scoring formats (15x3,7x5 and the existing 21x3) as a player, said shuttlers must be ready to embrace new challenges.

“I’ve been through all three scoring systems and most of us had no problem adapting, ” said Choong Hann, who won the men’s silver medal at the 2003 World Championships.

“For the 11x5 system, I think the urgency to score is much more important, but it’s all about how players plan their strategy to suit this format.

“The pace and competitiveness will surely go up a notch but it will reach a plateau at some point.

“That’s because some will adapt sooner but eventually the rest would catch up.

“Back then when we switched from 15x3 to 7x5, everyone thought it was going to be short. After a while, when everyone got used to it, the matches still lasted up to 40 to 50 minutes.

“With the proposed format, TV viewers and spectators will enjoy it more. However, no player will have an absolute advantage or be left behind.

“We at BAM are neutral about the format. It’s too early to say yes or no because it’s an institutional decision.

“Our minds are on the Olympics right now. We can’t be focusing on this and that. We need to prioritise the task at hand and that is to get our players ready for Tokyo.”

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