THE national men’s and mixed doubles players were caught by surprise when BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria visited them during their training session to encourage and motivate them ahead of the World Championships. -- NSTP Archive

THE national men’s and mixed doubles players were caught by surprise when BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria visited them during their training session to encourage and motivate them ahead of the World Championships.

Norza said this was because he felt that the players seemed to have hit a plateau as far as their progress was concerned.

Singling out the men’s and mixed doubles departments, Norza believes the players must achieve a breakthrough or else they won’t make much headway for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“The men’s and mixed doubles events are being dominated by a certain few right now and we need to break that.

“We keep losing to the same old pairs. If we do not find a breakthrough, then it’s not going to make any difference even at the World Championships or the Olympics next year, because they will face the same opponents,” Norza said yesterday.

Comparing their situation to someone driving around a roundabout, Norza stressed that it was time the players stopped driving around in circles.

“You must exit a roundabout, you can’t just drive in circles.

“Take players like Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (for example), I told them that they must lead by example because they are already seniors.

“I told the same thing to the mixed doubles players,” said Norza.

The national team will head to Basel tomorrow and the world meet will be from Aug 19-25.

Malaysia will have the maximum representation of four pairs in men’s doubles and three pairs in mixed doubles.

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