Monday, March 03, 2014

Family Should Not Be Reason For Leaving National Badminton Squad - Zolkples

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 (Bernama) -- Family should not be the excuse for former national badminton doubles player, Koo Kien Keat, to leave the national squad, said National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong.

Zolkples said he was aware of the situation facing the country's number one doubles player, as he would be a father for the first time soon.

"But that should not be a barrier for him, to the extent of skipping the training programme with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)," he told reporters when met at Stage Three of the Le Tour de Langkawi 2014 (LTDL) cycling race at Dataran Merdeka, here, today.

He said Kien Keat, 29, should emulate world number one singles player Datuk Lee Chong Wei who was still active and contributing to the country, despite having a little son.

It was reported earlier that BAM had accepted Kien Kiat's decision to leave the national squad, effective today.

Zolkples said he was only aware of Kien Keat's decision through newspaper reports.

"We accept Kien Keat's decision to withdraw from the national squad, but after leaving BAM, he has to find a new partner and sponsorship.

"At his age now, Kien Keat is still able to compete in international tournaments, and I will talk to BAM for a win-win situation for the benefit of both parties," he said.

In a related development, Zolkples said NSC welcomed BAM's proposal of listing former national badminton singles coach Datuk Misbun Sidek as a candidate for the post of coaching director.

"What is more important is that the candidate must have the qualifications and ability in formulating the overall planning and development of badminton and must not focus on one player only.

"It is better for BAM to appoint a local candidate instead of a foreign coach, as there will be less hassles.

"We do not object if BAM appoints a foreign candidate if he is more qualified. But we don't want to see problems when a wrong candidate is chosen," he said.

-- BERNAMA

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