Sun, 21 May 2000

Malaysia seeks singles coach to boost players

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): In order to boost the Malaysian singles players' technical skills in international tournaments in the future, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is seeking an excellent coach.

BAM president Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan told reporters on Friday after a new conference at the Putra Indoor Stadium that the application was open to either local or foreign coaches.

"We must revise our singles coach skills as we are trying to look for a good one. We are considering Indonesia, which I believe has many good coaches. The problem sometimes, however, is that Indonesia won't allow its coaches to work outside the country," he said.

Che Wan was responding to media questions about the poor performance of Malaysia's singles players Wong Choong Hann, Ong Ewe Hock, Roslin Hashim and Yong Hock Kin during the Thomas and Uber Cup Championships since May 11. They were coached by Kwan Yoke Meng, a former member of the 1992 Malaysian Thomas Cup winning team.

Malaysia failed to qualify for the semifinals after losing to Denmark and South Korea in the round-robin match and only had one victory over India.

"Some of our players will resign, including singles Rashid Sidek and doubles Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock. Especially Ewe Hock, whom we consider is not the right player for the team, due to his behavior outside the court."

Local papers reported that Ong was playing golf prior to the important match against Denmark on Tuesday.

Che Wan said that with the resignation of old shuttlers, BAM now had to concentrate on boosting young players, including young star Ismail Saman.

Speaking about his resignation plan, Che Wan said he had submitted his resignation letter to the BAM council one day after the defeat.

"I submitted the letter to vice president Roland Wong but I have yet to hear any response. Perhaps the council will also wait for the team's performance reports from the coaches. I have done my best for the team but I failed in this job."

Malaysian media is still pointing the finger at Che Wan for the failure, asking him to be responsible and to resign from his post.

However, he shared his thoughts on the good days in the past with the media when he brought the Malaysian team to the 1998 Thomas Cup Championships final in Hong Kong before bowing out to defending champion Indonesia. (yan)