MALAYSIAN shuttlers can forget about making an impression at next year’s Tokyo Olympics if they do not buck up now.
BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann did not mince his words when he said the players were a disappointment at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
Men’s singles Lee Zii Jia and independent mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were the only Malaysians to reach the quarter-finals before crashing out on Friday.
The last time Malaysia returned home empty-handed from the world meet was at the 2017 edition in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Overall, the players’ performance was below par. We did not hit the right notes especially in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles,” Choong Hann told Timesport yesterday.
“We must look into this because we have seen some great matches this week.
“We need our players to acquire the same level of intensity or they will not be able to beat the big guns.
“Yes, we can accept and acknowledge our losses but we must also be objective.
“Players like Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai (mixed doubles) must be able to stomach this and play with bigger heart if they want to realise their Olympic dreams.”
According to the Choong Hann, a silver medallist at the 2003 world meet, time is running out for the players who will be competing in more tournaments after this.
“They can’t be wasting any more time as they will be playing in more tournaments after this. More tournaments mean lesser time to train.
“The players cannot be getting all sentimental with emotions.
“I will say this, live with it. There isn’t one player out there who doesn’t have any problem.
“Don’t make excuses but instead become more hungry. In fact, the bigger you get, the more problem you will have.
“They must adopt a different school of thought.
“We are here to support them, but they need to work this out.
“Not tomorrow, not in the future but now!” added Choong Hann.
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, badminton was the Malaysian contingent’s biggest contributor of medals with three silver through Lee Chong Wei, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Peng Soon-Liu Ying.
Malaysia have never failed to win Olympic medals in badminton since its inception in the 1992 (Barcelona) Games except for the 2000 (Sydney) and 2004 (Athens) editions.
In total, the country have won six silver and two bronze Olympic medals.