Badminton Life

Rexy Takes it Easy on Malaysia's Doubles Pairs

Malaysia's doubles coach Rexy Manaiky said he is taking a softer approach towards his players in the build-up to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Much is expected from Malaysia's badminton squad for the Olympics and the pressure on them is immense.

Rexy, a former Indonesian doubles international and Olympic gold medallist, is regarded as a tough taskmaster. But he said the players do not need extra pressure from him, only encouragement.

"I focus mostly on the positive aspects of their game and try to encourage them to take advantage of it," he was quoted as saying in the local media.

"It is important for them to get more support at this time. I do not want to stress on their mistakes as I think they know what they need to do.

"This is the Olympics and only the top 16 pairs get to play. They have worked hard to get there and I believe they want to achieve their aims."

Malaysia have won just one doubles medal in the Olympics and that was when Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock took silver in the men's doubles at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong will be joined by Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah in the Beijing men's doubles Olympic competition next month.

Rexy hopes both, if not one, of the two pairs will be able to emulate the 1996 duo but he is worried about the whispers of friends and well-wishers in the lead-up to the Olympics.

He said: "Their friends will be asking whether they are ready to fight at the Olympics and reminding them to do their best to bring back the gold. When the players take to the court, it is important not to put them under more pressure."

Choong and Lee will be taking part in their third Olympics and are seeded fourth in the draw behind the favourites from South Korea, Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung.

The top seeds are Indonesia's world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan with China's Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun seeded second.

Koo and Tan, however, have a top pedigree, having won the All England men's doubles title in 2007. Although they have failed to recapture that form this season, they still have the technique and experience.

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