Ewe Hock: Time for new faces with fresh ideas to change our fortunes

Ong Ewe Hock -former Malaysian badminton player - showing his XTRM brand at his new badminton showroom. AHMAD IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Former international Ong Ewe Hock is hardly surprised by Malaysia’s quarter-final exit in the Thomas Cup Finals as he believes the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will not get better results if they keep repeating their mistakes.

He stressed that it was about time the management accepted responsibility for the Thomas Cup failure and allow new faces with fresh ideas to produce the desired results.

While India, who beat Malaysia 3-2, have gone on to reach the Thomas Cup final in Bangkok, Ewe Hock feels Malaysia’s results were going from bad to worse.

“I’m not surprised by the result and the management must accept responsibility and allow new faces to take over,” said Ewe Hock.

“We don’t want to hear about BAM having a post-mortem again but we are more interested in knowing what is the conclusion.

“Will the post-mortem produce any positive results? We have had so many post-mortems and have done little to change the results of the national team.

“If you look at the association, the office bearers and committee members have been there for years.

“Previously, we used to reach the final or the semi-finals and were able to give a better fight but losing in the quarter-finals is a clear indication Malaysia have not been showing progress.

“Don’t blame the coaches alone. There should be an overhaul at the management level. Do things differently if you want different and better results.”

Former Thomas Cup hero Rashid Sidek, who was instrumental in Malaysia’s last Thomas Cup victory in 1992, said Malaysia’s performance showed that the best team may not have been assembled for the Bangkok mission.

According to Rashid, Malaysia were dependent on the first singles and two doubles to ensure victory while the second and third singles had no depth.

This, said Rashid, had put tremendous pressure on Lee Zii Jia and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani to deliver all the time.

National doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky had apparently sidelined Wooi Yik due to poor form and paired Aaron and Teo Ee Yi as the second doubles while Sze Fei-Izzuddin were promoted as the first pair.

“Prior to the Thomas Cup, they were talking about winning but they way the second and third singles played, it was clear they were not prepared for it,” said Rashid.

“Malaysia are not a balanced side. They depended on the first singles and two doubles. If one of them loses, the result is predictable. India bank on three singles and their first doubles and this gives them a better probability of winning.’’

Rashid also felt that independent players like Soong Joo Ven and Cheam June Wei should have been included in the squad as Ng Tze Yong and Leong Jun Hao were shaky.

“We cannot blame the doubles alone as singles players should also stand up and be counted. As a senior, Liew Daren should have played against India and the inclusion would have given the team better cover.

“If we are talking about winning, we must have a team that is able to fight for all five points. More effort is needed in the singles department if we are to do well in the team events.”

It was the second time Malaysia have lost at the quarter-final stage after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Indonesia in the 2020 Thomas Cup in Denmark.

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