BAM's desperate measures to salvage two major tournaments


  • Other Sport
  • Saturday, 14 Jan 2012

FORMER international Mohd Hafiz Hashim of KLRC is back. And the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have decided that three heads are better than one to handle their high performance team.

The inclusion of Hafiz and the formation of a three-member High Performance Team (HPT) were the desperate measures taken by the BAM executive council yesterday to salvage something in two major tournaments this year – the Thomas Cup and Olympic Games in London.

Yesterday, Hafiz was recalled to strengthen Malaysia’s team for the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament in Macau from Feb 13-19.

The other singles players are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and back-up duo Liew Daren and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.

BAM have also taken a gamble on Hoon Thien How and Teo Kok Siang, who are coming back from injuries, for the doubles with Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Goh Wei Shem-Lim Khim Wah. Except for Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Thien How, the others are all first-timers.

Even with a relatively stronger team now, it will be touch and go for Malaysia in the qualifiers for one of the four tickets to the Finals in Wuhan, China, in May.

In terms of depth, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan are superior while Malaysia will have a fight on their hands against Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

It will be a real challenge for Malaysia, who have never failed to make the Finals.

“This is the team decided by all our coaches. They are confident that with Hafiz, this will be out strongest squad for the qualifiers,” BAM president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said after chairing the exco meeting yesterday.

The team will start their centralised training at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara from Jan 30-Feb 4 before continuing their second phase in Sabah from Feb 6-10 before heading to Macau.

Yesterday, Nadzmi said BAM decided to form a HPT, comprising Datuk James Selvaraj, Ng Chin Chai and Wong Ah Jit, instead of choosing one of the four shortlisted candidates – Razif Sidek, Yap Kim Hock, Lim Han Peng and Sheikh Kamaruddin Sheikh Ahmad – for the high performance director’s post.

“All the candidates have different strengths but none meet our requirement. We have formed a three-member team instead. We think this is the best short-term solution for our priority London Olympics programme,” said Nadzmi.

“Chin Chai is our coaching and training chairman and also the team manager for the Olympic Games while James was with us on a part-time basis. Ah Jit is with NSI (National Sports Institute).

“As this is a short-term plan, we are confident they will be able to give their undivided focus to increase our chances of winning medals at the Olympic Games.

“We also hope that the team will be able to come up with a different strategy to support Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong’s campaign in the Olympics.”

Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the others already qualified for London are Lee Chong Wei and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

The women in the running for berths are Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo and Tee Jing Yi.

OTHER ISSUES DISCUSSED AT THE EXCO MEETING

·Reviewed the tournament results of 2011 and performances of players and coaches: The singles have done well but not the men’s doubles.

·Discussed the different departments and whether they had achieved their KPI’s: The men’s singles and doubles back-up players failed to win any titles last year.

·Reviewed the ranking of players: The most drastic drop is from Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, from world No. 2 to No. 6. Their performance bonus will be cut. Most impressive are Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying from No. 16 to No. 9.

Singles: Lee Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Liew Daren, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.

Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, Hoon Thien How, Teo Kok Siang.

Fact files:

Name: Lee Chong Wei

DOB: 21.10.1982

Achievements: 2012 Korean Open winner, 2011 French Open winner, 2011 World Championships runner-up, 2011 Indonesian Open winner, 2011 Malaysian Open GP Gold winner, 2011 India Open Super Series winner, 2011 All England winner, 2011 Malaysian Open winner, 2010 Asian Games Silver medallist, 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Three times

Name: Mohd Hafiz Hashim

DOB: 13.9.1981

Achievements: 2006 Philippines Open winner, 2005 SEA Games bronze medallist, 2005 Dutch Open winner, 2005 Thailand Open winner, 2005 Swiss Open winner,2003 All England winner.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Five times

Name: Liew Daren

DOB: 6.8.1987

Achievements: 2011 SEA Games team silver.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Nil

Name: Mohd Arif Abdul Latif

DOB: 22.8.1989

Achievements: 2011 SEA Games team silver, 2011 Korean Open GP Gold runner-up, 2011 Malaysian International Challenge runner- up, 2011 Kedah Open winner, 2011 KL Open runner-up.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: One

Name: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong

DOB: 18.9.1985 (Koo) and 18.9.1987 (Tan)

Achievements: 2011 Malaysian Open GP Gold winners, 2010 Asian Games Silver medallists, 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold medallists, 2010 World Championships runners-up, 2010 Swiss Open winners, 2010 Malaysian Open winners, 2009 Denmark Open Super Series winners, 2009 Macau Open GP Gold winners, 2009 Swiss Open winners.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Kient Keat - four times, Boon Heong - three times.

Name: Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah

DOB: 20.9.1989 (Goh) and 29.4.1989

Achievements: 2011 SEA Games individual doubles bronze medallists, 2011 SEA Games team silver medallists.

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Nil

Name: Hoon Thien How

DOB: 24.12.1986

Achievements: 2006 Asian Championships runners-up, 2004 World Juniors Championship winner (with Boon Heong).

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: One

Name: Teo Kok Siang

DOB: 26.8.1990

Achievements: 2008 World Junior doubles champion (with Mak Hee Chun)

Previous Thomas Cup Appearance: Nil

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