WITH the purported rift between the BA of Malaysia (BAM) and the concerned coaches almost reaching boiling point, Lee Chong Wei has called for peace, and the World No 1 wants both parties to look for solutions.
It is said that several coaches are unhappy with the national body’s current practices and some may opt to discontinue after serving out their contracts, which expires in December.
Pressure from the National Sports Council (NSC) and the concerned parties, who want answers for the team’s failure to retain the men’s singles gold medal at the recent Commonwealth Games and also the selection of the underperforming Liew Daren, who fared badly in Glasgow, has also escalated the tension.
On Monday, BAM president Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff noted that the chief coach (Rashid Sidek) had proposed Daren and that the management had questioned about the player’s form before endorsing it.
Without making reference to anyone, Tengku Mahaleel said that if a teacher cannot help a student to reach his full potential, then it could be the fault of the teacher.
Daren was given a lifeline to show progress following failures in “Open” competitions and the Thomas Cup but the World No 47 failed to show fighting qualities in his defeat to eventual champion P.Kashyap of India in the quarter-finals in Glasgow.
Chong Wei, who has just returned to training from injury, said coaches should not be blamed for their players’ failures to succeed.
“Coaches provide the best but he can only do that as players decide their own destiny in tournaments. We cannot just pin the blame on trainers whenever a player loses,” said Chong Wei after being unveiled as a member of Team Samsung along with diver Pandelela Rinong in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for the Incheon Asian Games.
“Players must motivate themselves after each defeat. There could be several factors for failure... maybe lack of training or the pressure to perform.
“In sports, everyone wants to win. It is best for the coaches and other parties to review the team’s performance in Glasgow. I hope there will be solutions.”
On the selection of Daren for the Commonwealth Games, the three-time All England champion said there were no other options.
“When I withdrew from the squad because of injury, Daren was the main choice. I was actually surprised with the manner Daren lost to Kashyap. He probably did not have the confidence.
“It is tough for a player to succeed when he does not have confidence or desire.
“NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong is angry with Daren as he has watched the shuttler lose many times,” said the 10-time Malaysian Open champion.
But Chong Wei believes that Daren can bounce back if he changes his habits during competitions.
“Daren must show fighting qualities in tournaments. I did warn him after he had won the French Open in 2012 to focus harder in training.
“He must return to basics and reflect on the way he had trained prior to winning that title,” he said.
Chong Wei also confirmed that Daren will not be part of the team for the Asian Games. “I will lead the team along with Chong Wei Feng and Goh Soon Huat. The coaches are still deciding on another shuttler.
“It is better for Daren to take a break so that he can re-focus on training,” Chong Wei added.
AJITPAL SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org