NATIONAL doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky (pic) is hoping to be Malaysia’s lucky charm again in the Asian Games.
In his first stint as coach in the country, Rexy had successfully guided Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong to the men’s doubles gold in the 2006 edition in Doha.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong had at that time ended Malaysia’s 36-year wait for a badminton gold in the Asiad.
Since the pair’s feat, no Malaysian shuttler has won the title and Rexy is out to help end the 17-year drought.
Coincidentally, the country’s best bet this time in the Hangzhou Games is also the men’s doubles through top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.
Rexy had already worked his magic by guiding Aaron-Wooi Yik to a historic gold in the World Championships last year in Tokyo.
“Hopefully, I can bring luck to Malaysia again,” said Rexy, who also helped Kien Keat-Boon Heong to a silver in the 2010 edition in Guangzhou.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on Aaron-Wooi Yik but I want to motivate them by sharing with them my experience in guiding Kien Keat-Boon Heong to win the gold in 2006.
“I believe that they are not only our hope as there are others like independent men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong (men’s singles), Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) who can also deliver.”
Rexy, himself had captured the gold twice as a player – in the 1994 and 1998 editions in Hiroshima and Bangkok respectively – along with Ricky Subagja.
“I was not expected to defend my title in 1998 but I was highly motivated as I wanted to create history for myself,” said Rexy.
The 55-year-old now wants to see the same hunger from his charges.
Rexy will be focusing on guiding his charges in the men’s team event first before turning his attentions to the individual events.
“The men’s team event is similar to the Thomas Cup Finals where the only top team missing is Denmark,” said Rexy.
“Honestly, we will be relying on Aaron-Wooi Yik, Yew Sin-Ee Yi, Zii Jia and Tze Yong for points.
“As an unseeded team, we must be prepared to face one of the seeded teams as early as the quarter-finals.”
Indonesia and defending champions China are the top two seeds while Japan and India are seeded third and fourth respectively.