KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) high performance director, Datuk James Selvaraj, had urged both Misbun Sidek and Lee Chong Wei not to stop serving in the national team.
James expressed mixed feelings yesterday over coach Misbun’s decision to quit the team and Chong Wei’s intention to follow suit if the BAM failed to coax his mentor to stay on.
James, who assumed the hot seat in September initially on a part-time basis, said that the timing was all wrong for Misbun.
His brother-in-law passed away on the same day he tendered the resignation letter on Dec 31.
“I was there at the burial ground. I am sorry that the timing was all wrong for Misbun,” said James.
“It is a very sad period for him. I think it is not fair for anyone to make any conclusion and speculation on Misbun’s resignation.
“ I spoke to him and I know that a lot of things led to his resignation. He is hurt.
“He is a good person and a coach. But as a player he made his own mistakes before. At the BAM, we are looking into ways to strengthen our programmes.
“At the cemetery, Misbun told me that I could help him.
“I am ready to do so and we have made arrangements to meet each other.”
As for Chong Wei, James hoped that the world No. 1 would stay focused on his mission to win bigger honours for the country.
Chong Wei has thrown his support behind Misbun, who broke down when he told his charge of the decision to leave after a training session on the eve of his official resignation on Dec 31.
Chong Wei had made it clear that he would leave the BAM set-up if it meant continuing to train under the guidance of Misbun.
“I hope Chong Wei will put in a lot of thought before making any decision.
“He risks losing a lot of benefits if he goes on his own,” said James.
“Chong Wei has won many titles over the last two years.
“That is fantastic. But we are also here to support him in winning the major ones. “Misbun is in his own battle and I hope Chong Wei will continue to work on his mission to become a world and Olympic champion.
“For now, they must understand that the country needs their services. We will let our president (Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh) get to the root of the problem.”
Chong Wei is currently in Taipeh for the Super Series Masters Finals. He opens his defence of the title tomorrow.
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