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BAM coaches going full-steam to find top men’s singles

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – It is a relentless search for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching staff to produce the next national men’s singles champion formidable enough to strike fear at the international level.

That responsibility falls squarely on BAM singles Coaching Director Wong Choong Hann who said he has been working hand in hand with Youth Development Director Datuk Misbun Sidek to scout for the gem.

“We are working together and discussing strategies to speed up player development process. Although we have our own focus, we have joint training conducted internally.

“It is part of the work in progress, and indeed the final result has yet to be seen. But it is a mission we continuously pursue,” he said when met during the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open at Axiata Arena yesterday.

With eight young singles currently under BAM’s auspices, only Ng Tze Yong, 22, is seen as a player capable of becoming the country’s mainstay.

However, he has not reached the stage to replace Lee Zii Jia, who left BAM to become a professional player in February.

Earlier, BAM President Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria beseeched the coaching staff to produce more men’s singles champions who can win medals in major tournaments, as well as to reduce dependence on Zii Jia – the only one bright spark on the horizon thus far.

Choong Hann said that among the young talents under Misbun who is attracting his attention at the moment is Justin Hoh, who won the Bonn and Croatia Open(s) recently.

“Justin has shown a high level of commitment and consistency in training since being selected to the Malaysian Badminton Academy, as well as his passion for the sport. It has been translated into (success at) several tournaments he has participated in,” he said.

Malaysian badminton players Nur Izzuddin and Goh Sze Fei during a match at Axiata Arena. PHOTO: BERNAMA