Badminton Life

State Title and Cash Award for Misbun

Behind every top player, there is a top coach. And quite often, the efforts of the coach go unrecognised while the player gets all the glory.

This is definitely not the case with Malaysian singles coach Misbun Sidek, who saw his player Lee Chong Wei win the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.

While Lee received a Datukship from Penang, Misbun has not been forgotten and received a similar award from the chief minister of Melaka state, Mohd Ali Rustam.

Datukship is similar to the British knighthood and is a treasured honour in Malaysia. Misbun's award is for his services to Malaysian badminton, both as a top-class player and a coach.

National new agency Bernama reported Mohd Ali as saying: "We waited many years to get this medal and after discussing with the Yang Dipertua Negeri (royal leader), he agreed to the award."

Apart from coaching the likes of Lee, Misbun has an excellent record as a player. He won the national title seven times and also picked up international victories in Germany, Sweden, Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore.

Lee was reported to be pleased for his coach, who he has a close relationship with as seen by millions of Malaysians during his Olympic run.

He said Misbun was a well-respected figure by everyone in badminton and he put in a lot of effort to ensure Lee was at his best for the Olympics.

"It indirectly is a recognition of the deeds and relentless efforts by Misbun in training me," Chong Wei was quoted by Bernama as saying.

"Despite the Datukship, there will not be any problem in our relationship. I will always listen to his advice."

Apart from the title, Misbun is also due to receive RM60,000 from the Youth and Sports Ministry for helping Lee to a silver in Beijing.

The sum is 20 per cent of the RM300,000 that Lee wins for his efforts. A gold medal would have been worth RM1 million to Lee but he was well beaten in the final by China's Lin Dan.

Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was quoted as saying: "It is not easy to win a medal in the Olympics. The sum will not be deducted from the RM300,000 cash for Lee,"

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