Coaches take steps to protect players and keep them focused on Olympic mission

Ready to serve in Paris: Goh Jin Wei is one of two independent players in the Olympics team who are training at their own bases. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The national coaches are doing everything they can to protect the Paris Olympics-bound shuttlers and give them the best chance of success in the showpiece event in July.

With the badminton competition in the Olympics set to kick off in just 72 days, national coaching director Rexy Mainaky wants his charges to be fully focused on their preparations to be in the best shape possible for the world’s greatest sporting show.

One of the steps taken by the coaching department led by Rexy Mainaky is to limit the media access to the players at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara to one day a week.

Media personnel previously were allowed to interview players and coaches on Tuesdays and Fridays but now can only do so on Wednesdays.

Only Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles), Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s doubles) and Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) have qualified for the Olympics and are currently training at ABM.

Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles) and Goh Jin Wei (women’s singles), who are also set to compete in the Olympics, are independent players and training at their own bases.

On the first day of the new arrangement yesterday, Rexy said that the players have responded positively to the initiative.

“We had a meeting with the players on Monday to inform them of this new arrangement and they have responded positively,” said Rexy after a training session at ABM.

“With the Olympics so close, we are doing what we can to take care of them as this is our responsibility as coaches.

“What we want from the players is their full commitment to this new arrangement.”

Rexy also believes that the coaches and players need to be careful about sharing information with the public via the media as he does not want their strategies to be known to their rivals.

“In this day and age, information spreads very fast and we need to be careful about what we tell the media,” said Rexy.

“We cannot afford to give away our analysis of our players and strategies as our rivals will then get to know about it.

“Media personnel tend to want to know more but we need to handle these things delicately.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik, Pearly-Thinaah, and Tang Jie-Ee Wei’s next assignment will be the Malaysian Masters from May 21-26 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

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Badminton , Rexy Mainaky , Paris Olympics , July


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