PETALING JAYA: Denmark’s badminton legend Morten Frost Hansen is in town – but he is not here to take up the post as the country’s coaching director, so he says.
The former All-England men’s singles champion has been here for a week with his junior players for a summer camp at Bukit Kiara as part of their preparations for this year’s World Junior Championships.
The world junior meet will be held in Taiwan from Oct 28-Nov 6.
The Dane says he is quite happy with the job he is doing now – grooming and inspiring junior shuttlers to take over from their seniors.
The 53-year-old Frost, who is in charge of Denmark’s Under-19 national team in Aarhus, said that badminton fans can expect a change of guard – especially in the men’s singles field – after next year’s Olympic Games in London.
“Many current top players have indicated their intention to quit or slow down after the London Olympics. We will see new faces stamping their mark after that,” said Frost, who will take his young charges home today.
“Currently, two players – China’s Wang Zhengming and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark – look quite promising. They will be stars in their own era.
“It is unfair to compare these players with the two most prominent players of this era – Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei. Lin Dan and Chong Wei have made their marks and will be known as the greatest players over the last decade.
“Denmark’s Peter-Gade Christensen will also be remembered together with Taufik Hidayat (of Indonesia). Every era has its own stars ... like how Rudy Hartono of Indonesia and Yang Yang of China ruled the roost during their time.
“I do not think interest in the game will diminish after the departures of Lin Dan or Chong Wei. New stars will emerge and I am looking forward to exciting times.”
Frost also said that China were no longer invincible and this has made competition in badminton even more intriguing.
“They used to be so dominant but now, they are beginning to show that they are human after all. Except for their women’s doubles, they are beatable in the other events. Their women’s singles can be beaten by any player,” he said.
“China won all five titles at the recent World Championships in London but, except for Lin Dan, the others are not as dominant. There is no longer a huge gap between China and the others.”
Frost was roped in as Malaysia’s coaching director in 1997 and served for 3½ years.
Last year, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) hired Datuk James Selvaraj as a part-time high performance director – to do a job similar to what Frost did.
But now, the BAM want a full-time personnel for the job and are looking for a suitable candidate.