PETALING JAYA: It’s over to you now.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have called on the shuttlers to show the world what they are made of and do the nation proud as the Tokyo Olympics’ badminton competition gets under way today.
They are confident that all the eight players led by All-England champion Lee Zii Jia are fully prepared both mentally and physically for the challenge after having camped and trained intensively for nearly two months at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).
The national body said they have left no stone unturned in providing the shuttlers, including three professionals Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying and Soniia Cheah, with world-class facilities and crucial support services at the state-of-the-art centre of excellence.
BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria has hailed the players for displaying strong attitude and spirited efforts in spite of difficulties faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We didn’t differentiate between the players, whether they were professional or BAM players, they were all one Malaysian team,” said Norza.
“They worked hard and were committed despite the difficult conditions. I’m delighted with their spirit and commitment and confident they will deliver their best in Tokyo.”
BAM had charted out various plans well in advance, and this included a training in Ehime prefecture, in Japan in December 2019 but the plan could not materialise due to the pandemic.
BAM and Ehime Badminton Association had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2018, which enables Malaysian shuttlers to set their base prior to Tokyo Games.
“These were unprecedented times, the last time the world suffered such a pandemic was 100 years ago. The lockdowns that ran for months severely affected our preparations especially in sending the players abroad for competitive competitions,” said Norza.
“I believe that the tough times they went through had strengthened the players mentally and physically, and has prepared them well for Tokyo.”