Badminton Life

Sports Medicine Boost for Malaysian Players

Sports medicine has often been an under-rated aspect of a successful athlete. Now, the National Sports Institute (NSI) of Malaysia has ackwnoledged its importance by vowing to provide full sports science support to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

The BAM has long asked for such support from the country's top sporting institute. And NSI director general Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz has finally granted their wish with two support teams for the national elite squad whenever they need them.

The aim of the BAM is for gold medal glory at the London Olympics in 2012 and they need all the help they can get, especially when it comes to the medical side of the sport.

Illnesses, injuries, nutrition, mental conditioning and basic health are crucial issues when it comes to developing elite athletes.

Already physical trainers Rosdie Ghani and Sean Sturgess, as well as mental trainer Fred Tan, will be dispatched to the Denmark Open and French Open this month to help the players.

Dr Ramlan was quoted as saying in the Malaysian media: "It is a joint responsibility between NSI and BAM to ensure the national shuttlers get full backing in terms of sports science expertise.

"NSI is more defined after getting the approval from the Cabinet to become a statutory body and we are doing our very best to provide support services to our athletes.

"We will have a support team for the elite players and we are trying to start another team to help the other players. Being the top sport in the country, badminton deserves it."

Malaysia's top singles player Lee Chong Wei will particularly benefit from having a mental health coach, Tan, beside him.

World number one Lee famously collapsed in the Beijing Olympics final against China's Lin Dan in August, when he was expected to put up a much stronger fight.

Lee had failed to win in two tournaments since becoming world number one, though he did at least get to the finals.

He cited exhaustion from post-Olympic functions as the reason for his failures and Dr Ramlan suggested that national players take a longer break after the Olympics to concentrate on their conditioning.

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