For the first time ever, Malaysia will not have any representatives at the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals in Dubai from Dec 17-21.
So, the immediate task for Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost Hansen will be to make sure that Malaysia are not put in such a situation next year.
Former great Frost, who will only start work as BAM’s technical director in March, is scheduled to arrive earlier to discuss and plan his programmes with all the coaches in the set-up.
BAM deputy president Datuk Norza Zakaria said that the absence of a local shuttler in the finale of the Superseries tour showed up three weaknesses of Malaysian badminton: over-reliance on world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei; poor planning; and the lack of successors coming through.
Chong Wei has qualified as the top-ranked shuttler for the Finals but had to forgo the tournament – for the first time since its inception in 2007 – because he is serving a temporary suspension following a doping violation at the World Championships in Copenhagen in August.
The Malaysian superstar, who won the Malaysian Open, All-England, India Open and Japan Open this year, has been tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone and is waiting for a hearing to clear his name – and escape a two-year ban.
Norza is clearly disappointed.
“We have relied too much on Chong Wei. I’m disappointed that his two successors – Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren – have failed to narrow the gap this year,” said Norza.
“In the recent Axiata Cup (semi-finals), Wei Feng was the team captain in the absence of Chong Wei but he faltered when it mattered most.
“If these two seniors do not buck up, we may have to forget about them and focus on the youngsters.
“We are one of the badminton powerhouses but it is sad that we will not have any Malaysian in this major BWF tournament for the first time.
“This should not happen again.”
And Norza is banking on Frost to restore the country’s battered image.
“We hope Morten will look into these glaring problems in the men’s singles department and come out with solutions,” he said.
“He officially starts work in March but he will be here in January ... to sit down with everyone in the training and coaching set-up to review and re-strategise.”
Since 2007, Malaysia have produced several champions in the World Superseries Finals, like Chong Wei (men’s singles four times in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013), Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men’s doubles in 2008), Wong Mew Choo (women’s singles in 2009) and Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (women’s doubles in 2008 and 2009).
THE WORLD SUPERSERIES FINALS QUALIFIERS
(Only the top eight after 12 legs qualify)
Men’s singles: 1. Chen Long (Chn), 2. Jan O Jorgensen (Den), 3. Son Wan-ho (Kor), 4. K. Srikanth (Ind), 5. Kento Momota (Jpn), 6. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den), 7. Tommy Sugiarto (Ina), 8. Kenichi Tago (Jpn).
Men’s doubles: 1. Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor), 2. Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin (Tpe), 3. Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn), 4. Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina), 5. Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan (Chn), 6. Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn), 7. Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den), 8. Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor).
Women’s singles: 1. Wang Shixian (Chn), 2. Wang Yihan (Chn), 3. Saina Nehwal (Ind), 4. Ratchanok Intanon (Tha), 5. Sung Ji-hyun (Kor), 6. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), 7. Bae Yeon-ju (Kor), 8. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn).
Women’s doubles: 1. Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn), 2. Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda (Jpn), 3. Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei (Chn), 4. Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den), 5. Luo Ying-Luo Yu (Chn), 6. Chang Ye-na-Kim So-yeong (Kor), 7. Jung Kyung-eun-Kim Ha-na (kor), 8. Greysia Polii-Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (Ina).
by Rajes Paul - The Star