Badminton star Chong Wei calls for swift action over coaches' contracts

Badminton star Chong Wei calls for swift action over coaches' contracts

SUBANG JAYA - World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei wants the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to stop dilly-dallying and renew the national coaches as soon as possible.

Chong Wei said the uncertainties surrounding the future of the BAM coaches, whose contracts ended on Dec 31, have severely affected the national team's morale.

"We all noticed how they (the coaches) were no longer putting their hearts in conducting training recently. They were all very moody," said Chong Wei at a fund-raising event here.

"But as players, we do understand their predicament and we can't really blame them.

"It's normal for them to feel like that. They have been made to wait and they are unsure their services will be retained or otherwise.

"Coaching is their job, their livelihood ... they need to feed their families. I feel sorry for them.

"I hope the BAM will sort out this matter as soon as possible and not leave it hanging in the air.

"This is a very important year as the players need to produce good results to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. As such, they need to be fully-prepared for the challenge.

"The players' first assignment of the season is the Malaysian Masters (in Kuching from Jan 13-18). They have less than two weeks to prepare and our coaching line-up is still not finalised yet."

The BAM have been under fire of late for their poor planning and the officials' lackadaisical attitude. It prompted an outburst by national women's double player Ng Hui Lin, who quit the national team last week. National men's single No. 2 Chong Wei Feng also admitted that the atmosphere during training was not good.

In the fund-raising event at the Element Badminton Centre here, Chong Wei led a group of 13 shuttlers to raise a total of RM43,488 in cash and RM10,000 worth of goods for the country's flood victims.

Besides Chong Wei, the others were Wei Feng, Tan Boon Heong, Hoon Thien How, Chan Peng Soon, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Tan Aik Quan, Tee Jing Yi, Woon Khe Wei, Vivian Hoo, Goh Liu Ying and Lai Pei Jing.

The 13 players also donated their racquets and shirts for auction. The one-hour auction netted RM40,588 from the total cash collected.

As expected, Chong Wei's racquet and shirt fetched the highest bid - totalling RM25,000.

Doubles ace Boon Heong's racquet, which he used to record the world's fastest smash of 421kph during a test conducted by Yonex in Japan in 2009, earned the second highest bid at RM8,000.

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