Badminton Life

Players Must Earn Their Places, says BAM

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is refusing to bow to pressure and rush to blood youngsters at senior international level.

Many badminton personalities, including world number one men's singles player Lee Chong Wei, have urged BAM to give youngsters more exposure to top-quality opposition in a bid to groom more talented players.

However, BAM general manager Kenny Goh said in local media reports that players will continue to be selected based primarily on their form.

"We will give players equal opportunities to compete in international tournaments but at the same time, we want proper planning from the coaches," he was quoted as saying.

"From next year, the coaches must tell us the targets their players have to achieve in tournaments. They cannot just send players out to all competitions."

Goh, who is the project manager for the 2012 London Olympic campaign, said the players will be reviewed every three months to assess their performance.

He said: "We will sent them to a few tournaments and see how they fare and take it from there. The younger players may get to compete in GP Gold tournaments and they have to produce performances to justify selection.

"If they have the ability to stand up to the challenge, we will let them compete in Super Series tournaments. There should be progression to get into top flight tournaments, not just throwing them into the fray."

Olympic silver medallist Lee is the only Malaysian men's singles player capable of taking on the world's best.

However, new chief singles coach Rashid Sidek has earmarked four players for future success - Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Tan Chun Seang and Liew Daren.

Despite BAM's concerns, Malaysia have a bright future if the recent 14th Asean University Games is anything to go by after the host country won seven golds and beat traditional regional giants Indonesia.

The Malaysians won gold in the men's and women's team events as well as the men's doubles, mixed doubles, men's singles, women's singles and women's doubles.

Mohd Arif, who was identified by Rashid as a future star, showed his potential by winning the men's singles title.

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