Badminton Life

Malaysia may look to Rashid

Former Olympic singles bronze medallist Rashid Sidek is favourite to replace Yap Kim Hock as Malaysia's next national coach.

According to a report in Malaysia's The Star, Yap is expected to hand over the coaching reigns to Rashid soon after the Beijing Olympic Games, where the country won a silver medal through men's singles player Lee Chong Wei.

Malaysian badminton is bracing for change with many of the senior players such as Wong Choong Hann, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah expected to retire from international competition.

Mohd Nadzmi Salleh, president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), was happy that Malaysia could end their 12-year medal drought but said there was still much work to be done.

"The Olympics is the highest standard where we gauged ourselves. Reviewing the position of coaches is the natural cycle after each Olympics," he was quoted as saying by The Star.

"But I do not want to pre-empt anything. It is important for us to sit down with the coaches and listen to their views before deciding on anything."

Rashid is currently looking after Project 2010-2012, which features young players who have the potential to perform well at the highest level in the not-too-distant future.

These players will soon become national players and the BAM must consider whether or not to give Rashid, who won bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games, the top job for the sake of continuity.

Yap may be asked to take care of the junior programme that hopes to produce players for the 2016 Olympics.

"We will still maintain the current players we have in the national squad but we have to bring in the back-up players after this," said Nadzmi.

Among the senior players who are expected to stay with the programme are doubles pairings Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, the former All England champions.

Both pairs are still young and could provide Malaysia with the strong challenge at the London Olympics.

Malaysia has always been regarded as a strong badminton country but still trail the likes of China and Indonesia.

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