With the exception of Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia endured a lacklustre run at the recent 2017 Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei, fresh and energised from his victory at the All England 2017 in Birmingham, took on the Malaysia Open, gunning for his 12th title.
Although he succumbed to China’s Lin Dan in the finals yet again, he was the only Malaysian shuttler who made it that far. Other Malaysian shuttlers, including the top seeds, suffered early exits from the tournament that was held in Kuching from the 4th to 9th of April.
Goh Liu Ying-Chan Peng Soon and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong both had to bid farewell to the tournament in the first round after they were defeated by Indonesia’s Edi Subaktiar-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja and Hong Kong’s Chin Chung-Tan Chun Man respectively.
While Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong put up a sub-par performance, Goh Liu Ying’s shoulder injury thwarted her and her partner from advancing into the next round.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)’s technical director Morten Frost Hansen expressed his dissatisfaction towards the performance of Malaysian shuttlers, with the exception of Datuk Lee Chong Wei who fought hard to secure a place in the finals.
As the top seeds suffered from injuries and struggled to be on form, we desperately needed our junior shuttlers to step up and take over. Unfortunately, all of the junior shuttlers failed to qualify for the Malaysian Open main draw.
And how long will we depend on Datuk Lee Chong Wei to ace the badminton men’s singles event? Who will rise to the occasion in the event that he is out?
A frustrated Datuk Lee Chong Wei slammed his juniors, citing lack of motivation as one of the biggest problem among them.
“Everything is given to our juniors, but yet they’re not producing results. It’s all up to them, really,” Datuk Lee Chong Wei told The Star.
“When I was a junior, I had to fight to get a chance to play in tournaments. Our juniors get beaten but they still get selected for tournaments. Life is easy for them.”
“The coaches are there to help and I’ll do my part, too. I just hope that our juniors will be more driven to do well,” he added.
National men’s singles coach Hendrawan agrees with Lee Chong Wei.
“We have four back-up shuttlers, Lim Chi Wing, Soo Teck Zhi, Soong Joo Ven and Chong Yee Han. But we can’t wait forever for them to step up. They lack motivation,” said coach Hendrawan.