KUALA LUMPUR: National number two Ong Beng Hee has blasted the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) for their scathing remarks about his performance in the recent Kolkata International Open.
Beng Hee lost to Mansoor Zaman of Pakistan in the final of the Kolkata tournament, which ended last Friday.
National No. 1 Mohd Azlan Iskandar fared even worse, suffering a humiliating first-round loss to unseeded Pakistani Shahid Zaman.
This led to SRAM president Datuk A. Sani Karim warning the duo to raise their games for the Asian Championships, which will begin in Kuwait tomorrow.
For the Asian Championships, Azlan has been given top billing in the individual competition, with Beng Hee the second seed.
Beng Hee was disappointed at being told by the SRAM to raise his game for the Asian meet despite making it to the final in Kolkata.
How can they tell me to raise my game when I managed to reach the final of the Kolkata Open? Beng Hee said in an interview from Kuwait.
The Kolkata Open was meant to be a warm-up tournament because I have only been training the entire month of January without playing in any matches.
So, even though I lost in the final its okay because I wanted few matches to gear up for the Asian meet.
But Beng Hee, who will be gunning for his fifth Asian individual title, admitted that he wont be taking anyone for granted anymore after his loss to Mansoor.
I will go all out to win my fifth Asian crown, said Beng Hee, who failed to win a single Professional Squash Association (PSA) title last year.
Under the National Sports Council (NSC) incentive scheme, the winner of the Asian title will receive RM40,000.
Beng Hee, who is seeded second for the Kuwait tournament, won his first Asian individual title in Hong Kong in 2000. He then went on to win in Kuala Lumpur twice (2002 and 2004) and Taiwan in 2006.
Beng Hee also beat Azlan in the final to bag the Doha Asian Games title in December 2006.
Besides Beng Hee and Azlan, the other members of the Malaysian mens team for the Asian tourney are Nafiizwan Adnan and Asyraf Azan.