Monday, August 6, 2012 | | By: Febi

Chong Wei wants a concerted effort in search for next Malaysian champ

THE Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) should step up the hunt for the next Lee Chong Wei over the next two years before the world No. 2 hangs up his racquet.

Chong Wei has given an assurance that he will be around until the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

He also said that winning the World Championships next year would be a priority.
“The search for the next Malaysian champion must be stepped up. I won’t be playing forever and we must ensure that there are players coming through the ranks to take over,” he said.

“BAM have a new system in place and are looking at grassroots development in greater detail. There are quite a number of coaches who have come into the fold and are willing to help.
“But unless a concerted effort is made, we will not be able to unearth and nurture players who have the potential to become world beaters.”

Besides stepping up his efforts to win a world title, Chong Wei is willing to be a mentor to the youngsters in the national team.

“Players like Liew Darren, Mohamed Arif Latif, Chong Wei Feng, Misbun Ramdan, Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin and Loh Wei Sheng have the talent but need to be exposed and groomed at international level. I will help them the best I can.

“There’s no question that we need a new crop of players to take over.
“We don’t have the luxury of a big pool of talent like China,” said Chong Wei who lost the Olympic men’s singles final in a three-game thriller to China’s Lin Dan at the Wembley Arena on Sunday.
He said his performance in London has encouraged him to try harder and win other titles before he retires.

“I don’t know what the situation will be in four years’ time. I will be 34 then, so there’s no point thinking about the next Olympics.

“The Asian Games and Com­monwealth Games are more realistic targets for me,” he said.
“I may retire. But I have enjoyed my duels with Lin Dan and we also enjoy a good friendship.
“We will play each other again.”

BAM must take heed of Chong Wei’s call for an urgent infusion of fresh new talent if Malaysia are to make a serious bid for medals at the next Olympic Games.

The fact that he is willing to play on and help groom the youngsters should be welcomed by BAM.



 THE STAR

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