Misbun takes centrestage at 2002 awards

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Misbun takes centrestage at 2002 awards


KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton singles head coach Misbun Sidek has earned his due recognition when he was named as winner of the national men's Coach of the Year award for 2002 last night. 

The women's award went to lawn bowls' Choo Yih Hwa. 

Misbun, who was formerly with the Nusa Mahsuri Badminton Club, has been involved in coaching and the development of the sport for the past 13 years. 

Among the national shuttlers who had come under his charge were two-time Commonwealth Games champion Rashid Sidek, Ong Ewe Hock and Yong Hock Kin. Those currently training under him include the Hashim brothers, Roslin and Hafiz. 

Among Misbun's achievements as a coach were guiding Roslin to the Japan Open title and subsequently becoming the world number one ranked player in 2001. That year, Roslin also became the first Malaysian shuttler to win the SEA Games gold medal since Punch Gunalan in 1973. 

BEST OF THE LOT: Lawn bowls coach Choo Yin Hwa and national badminton singles coach Misbun Sidek with the trophies they won Wednesday night. The awards come with RM5,000 cash rewards as well.

Last year, younger brother Hafiz shone – giving a good performance in the Thomas Cup Finals and then upstaging teammate Lee Tsuen Seng to win the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. 

Last month, Hafiz ended a 37-year drought for Malaysia in the All-England men’s singles. The 19-year-old Hafiz beat China’s world number one Chen Hong to lift the prestigious title. 

Besides coaching, Misbun is also involved in organising coaching clinics and talent camps with the support of the Youth and Sports Ministry and Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ). 

Misbun, who started work as the singles chief coach with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in January, said that winning the award would spur him on to help the national shuttlers bring greater glory to the country. 

“It is an honour and recognition for myself and the badminton fraternity. As long as the players under me are committed and follow my training, I am confident we will win more honours,” said Misbun, who won the National Sportsman of the Year award for three consecutive years from 1981. 

Yih Hwa has been involved with the national women’s lawn bowls team for the past 10 years. Among her achievements last year were guiding the team to win one gold and one bronze in the Manchester Commonwealth Games. The bowlers also won seven gold medals and one bronze in the Asian Championships in Hong Kong last year. 

Tennis’ Mohd Azam Baba took the Best Development Coach award for men while the women’s award went to archery’s Lim Geok Pong. 

Azam has been coaching for the past 15 years while Geok Pong, a former national archer, was responsible for Penang’s success in winning two gold, three silver and four bronze medals in Sukma (Malaysia Games) last year. 

The late Prof Dr Mohamad Nor Che Noh, who was deputy chef-de-mission of the Malaysian contingent for the 1972 Munich Olympics, was named for the Special Coach award. 

All the winners, except for the Special Coach award, received RM5,000 each. Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat gave away the awards in a ceremony at the Marriot Hotel last night.