Badminton Life



Last Chance Saloon for Fallen Malaysian Star Hafiz

Former All England champion Mohd Hafiz Hashim has been spending the past few months scratching around, not really knowing where his badminton future was heading.

Now, though, it is a bit clearer after the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) invited him to join their ranks in a final bid to revive his flagging career.

Hafiz, the 2003 All England men's singles champion, is keen to leave his club of nine years, Nusa Mahsuri, although contractual problems are preventing him from going anywhere.

The BAM wants Hafiz to iron out any issues before he can join them, a scenario that would help him financially, technically and physically.

BAM president Nadzmi Mohd Salleh met with Hafiz after the Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta in May and the player asked for a spot on the national team.

"He has not been doing well of late but Hafiz is a talented player," Nadzmi was quoted as saying in Malaysia's Star newspaper. "He is interested to join the BAM and we welcome him. But he has to solve some of his problems first.

"Hafiz has to have a clean cut from his club if he wants to join the BAM. We do not want to be entangled in any legal problem.

"We are willing to take him in but he has to make the initiative to make his way back to top. The system in BAM is such that an under-performing player will be dropped."

Nadzmi warned Hafiz that he would not receive any special treatment and he must comply with all BAM regulations, which other national players must also agree to.

Apart from Hafiz, the BAM will look at other players from the current national team and young players who are coming up. The squad is expected to be named prior to the Beijing Olympic Games, after recommendations by coaches.

Hafiz's form on the court has not been that great in recent times. At the Indonesian Open and the Thailand Open he was beaten in the early rounds. Earlier this year, he announced his intention to play for KLRC Bhd, though that moved never materialised.

He now has one more chance to fight his way back into the national squad.












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