Badminton Life

Interview with Roslin Hashim

Date: 18/10/2011

We are really grateful of Mr. Roslin Hashim for granting us this interview. Roslin was an outstanding player during his international days in the late 90's till 2008 when he retired. He had won numerous international major titles like the Japan Open, Swiss Open etc. and had also ranked No.1 in BWF World Ranking.

This is no simple feat and it's truly a great achievement! Of course all these achievements can't be attained if it's not for Roslin's hard work and determination. Thereby we salute you! We are sure that you will be equally successful in badminton coaching and also other things in life.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity for having this interview. We appreciate it a lot and we are sure our readers will love it too!

1. What age did you start playing?

7 years old when I first picked up the sport from my dad and siblings. 13 years old when I was drafted to state team. That is when I started training seriously.

2. Was it your intention to be a professional player from the start?

Turning pro is about you feeling free. In a sense where you can demand from sponsors and media in terms of prices and etc. When you are a professional player you are more flexible where your prize money is all yours not to the state association. Becoming professional player, the responsibility is bigger where you need to have results to make money and demand your price from sponsors; if you don't have results you don't survive being a professional player.

3. When did you realize you were good enough to be a world beater?

When I was in the BAM from 1991 to 1995 I only considered myself semi pro and there are not many players to trained with , in my batch there's only 3 of us including me. Only when I was 21 years old (1996) when I moved to Nusa Mahsuri, a professional club formed by the legendary Sidek Brothers. Where there are so many great players like Rashid Sidek, Yong Hock Kin, Ong Ewe Hock and etc.

4. How were you noticed at the national level?

During 1990 selections. There's 4 to 5 players from each state sent to the selection. Where there's an open match, where I need to play matches with BAM players and other state players and there's an age group match where I emerged 2nd place.

5. Which year was you drafted into the national squad?

1991, 16 years old

6. have you ever considered making a name in doubles?

Yes, in 1992 when I was a junior where I partnered Pang Cheh Chang the current national doubles coach and we won several international junior tournaments such as the Asian Junior School and we won all local tournaments. My first event is singles and my partner and me don't get along well as well (haha, roslin say jokingly). At that time also we don't have any doubles coach , we have to play with our seniors the Sidek brothers Razif and Jalani Sidek . After that year I decided to concentrate on singles.

7. Did any of your batch mates made the same grade as you ? If not, what was the reason ?

Yes, I'm sure you'll know some of them like fellow former world number 1 , Wong Choong Hann , Lee Wan Wah , Choong Tan Fook , Chew Choong Eng, Rosman Razak (current national doubles coach) . There are many didn't make it. Too many to list down. For the reason , you have to ask them .. Haha

8. How many years were you on the scene?

1991 to 2008 . 17 years

9. On your playing career which was the highlight of your career?

There are a few highlights in my career, one of the top on my list has to go to the Thomas Cup 1998 Hong Kong Semi Final. Malaysia vs Denmark. It was a deciding match 2-2 for each side. I have to play the last deciding match, which I won against Kenneth Jonassen for Malaysia to enter the final. During the final, even though the team lost 3-1 to Indonesia .

At that time we still need to play the last match. I played with my idol Joko Suprianto and I won the feeling is overwhelming. It was my first time playing in the Thomas Cup and I won all my matches. Another highlight is of course is being World Number 1. The feelings are indescribable. Words can't describe the feeling.

10. Which incident would you consider as a low point of your career?

I have to say the World Championship 2001 in Seville, Spain. I was the world number 1 and the top seed . I lost in the second round to Tam Kui Chuan of Hong Kong which I won easily during previous matches. When I arrived the venue I've a already not feeling too well.

Having a slight cold during the 1st round match . I was supposed to retire from the tournament when I was having difficulties breathing but I guess I was being stubborn and the drive to win to carry on playing. Anyways, that has to be my lowest point in my career losing the second round where I had a good opportunity to create history.

11. How would you summarize your career?

I'm satisfied , that's why I retired and because of my age. I've achieved my goal to become world number 1, represented my country in 6 edition of the Thomas Cup which we reached final a couple of times and won several 5 stars Open tournaments such as Sea Games, Holland Open, Japan Open, Swiss Open and etc. Looking back it's not easy achieving those achievement. It's all through sheer hard work and determination.

12. Do you still play ? What other sports other than badminton ?

Yes of course , I still love the sport very much. It's part of my soul. No matter what I do I still go back to this sport. Nowadays , I just play once in a while with my students or old friends. Sometime I feel the itch to play tournaments but just some small local tournaments. Other sports other than badminton that would be football.

13. What do you think of the new points scoring system?

There's pros and cons of the 21 point scoring system. When it first came out it's too short. Most of the match ended in 25 minutes or less. Nowadays , the players know how to handle the point. Players and coaches know how to train according to the 21 point scoring system.

As you noticed the 21 point scoring is getting longer, these days some matches can go up to 1 hour 20 minutes or even longer. Hopefully there won't be any more changes. That would destroy the sport. Different training methods for different scoring system. From my personal point of view, I still prefer the 15 point old scoring system, from there you can see the art of Badminton. Your strategies, sustaining power, patience all will be tested.

14. Which player you admire at the start, both at the local and the international scene ?

There are few players. In the local scene, I admire Misbun Sidek, First because of his style and charisma, skills and his infamous chop and not to forget is fighting spirit. Razif and Jalani Sidek greatest defend of all times. Joko Suprianto for his shot arrangement and he played a beautiful game. Watching him play is like watching him dance around the court.

Lastly, Paul Erik Hoyer Larsen, I admired his patience and his skills. He's like players from Asia. At that time, there's no Peter Gade, it's really spectacular as there's not many European can play like players in Asia.

15. As a player, what was your strength? Weakness, if any?

Fitness, Defend, Rallies and patience. I have no speciality in attacking. When I play with any level, I will make my opponent tired first. That's why when I won any top players I never win any of them in straight sets. I will tire them out first. All my matches would last more than an hour.

16. Is it important to have a favourite stroke? What was yours then?

Yes of course it is important to have a favourite stroke. Every player has to have a favourite stroke. That's where you get the point. First you must know your favourite stroke then you play your opponent to your game. But you must also know what are your opponent favourite stroke as well as his weakness. My favourite stroke is rally and defending.

17. Can you name a few international players, current or retired, who you regard as best or famous for a specific technique or an area of skills?

Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia strong wrist work. Truly a gifted talent. Lin Dan mental strength. Chong Wei skills, body strength and fitness. Peter Gade drive and determination despite of his age he still playing top badminton.

18. Who do you regard as the all time best player?

Back in the days I would consider Zhao Jian Hua , even though he doesn't produce as much result as Yang Yang but his skills is unpredictable. The pattern of play is spectacular. If for players these days , I would have to say Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. For me Lin Dan and Chong Wei is about the same level, it depends who is better well prepared mentally on that day. Chong Wei won Lin Dan on numerous occasion. It's just has to go down who has better mental strength on that day.

19. Who were your coaches during your international days?

Krisnan, National Junior Coach, Chean Chang Jie from China and lastly Misbun Sidek

20. Can you spell out the difference in coaching styles from China, Malaysia, Denmark and Indonesia? What are their Strengths and Weaknesses?

It's about the same. 70 percent the same. In terms of physical training is the same. As all country do jogging, sprinting, shadow, sprinting, weight training and etc. Is just the court programme which slightly different and the country's reputation.

21. How do you regard the local coaching scene?

Well it's hard to say. 15 years ago all the state team are strong. Now I don't see any strong state teams. BAM are not supporting the state association too much. These days in the local scene such as the Circuit or the Open Grand Prix tournament they are all won by BAM players, none of them are state players. The state coaches and the state management can't be blame for that.

22. Do good players make good coaches?

Yes, it's possible but necessarily. If you have a good coach to make you a good player, then you can make a good player. A good coach , has the ability to think ideas on how to improve you to become a good player. It's totally different level from playing. Misbun Sidek is one of the great coaches of all time. That's why I followed him. All successful athletes around the world have to have a good coach to make them successful.

23. You are coaching at the moment, what's the difference?

There's a lot of difference. There are different elements, I have to think ways on applying my experience to my players. As different players different characters. It's different from playing as it's tricky to project my knowledge and experience to players. Until now I'm still learning. It's totally different from playing

24. What are the basic requirements to playing good badminton?

Discipline , that's the main requirements. If you don't have discipline you can't achieve anything else same goes to life. Drive and Goal oriented is one of the requirements as well, but it all plays down to discipline.

25. Your brother Hafiz Hashim was once known as the next star of Malaysia badminton after winning numerous titles such All England, Commonwealth Games and numerous Open titles. What happened? Does he has the chance to create history again?

From my point of view, his drive and motivation is not as strong as before. He has no goal to be champion. Every time he goes to tournament he wants to win but there's no goal to be champion. Winning and becoming a champion is two different thing. Of course , there's a chance , he still feared by many players, maybe he's only afraid of himself.

26. Have you had thoughts of coaching your brother Hafiz Hashim back to his glory days?

Haha , of course it's okay with me if he asked for my help. It's all up to him but if he asked me for my help I'm always there to help out.

27. Who do you think is current upcoming players? and why?

It's hard to see any new faces yet , even though our back up players like Liew Darren , Chong Wei Feng, Misbun Ramdan and Chan Kwong Beng did upset some big names but they are not consistent yet. It's no point if you upset some big names but you can't go far. They are still in the proses of maturing.

28. Are there any ways for BAM to improve their systems for better results on international scene?

My answer is simple. Make a badminton league club.

29. is planning to start a badminton league. Do you think it will increase the level of the players especially the back up players? and why? Do you support the league?

Of course I support badminton-information for the league. From the league we can spot good talent. In clubs you have ex players and you keep the BAM players on their toes. There's where you see the results of the players performing not only in tournaments.

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