• Zulfadli eyeing Thomas Cup ticket (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Independent singles shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli has his international assignments all planned out for the next two months.

    And he is on a wing and a prayer that it will not clash with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)’s selection trial for the Thomas Cup Finals in May in New Delhi.After enjoying a good run at the India Open Grand Prix Gold last month, Zulfadli Zulkiffli hopes to keep his momentum going in the Austria International Challenge from Feb 19-22.

    Zulfadli, who is currently sponsored by Red Bull, will be taking part in the Austria International Challenge from Feb 19-22 in Vienna, All-England (March 4-9), Swiss Open (March 12-17) and the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold (March 25-30) in Johor Baru.

    BAM have yet to fix a date although they had announced earlier that they would hold an open trial to give independent shuttlers a shot at making the cut for the world team event.

  • Beware! Big Brother’s watching (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: The movement of the national coaches and players at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara is being closely monitored.

    Since Feb 4, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have installed a thumbprint attendance system that requires coaches and players to clock in and out every day as they enter and leave the national training centre. National shuttlers Chong Wei Feng (left) and Ho Yen Mei using the thumb print access system before entering Stadium Juara for training.

    The move is to monitor the attendance of the coaches and players as the management does not want them to go AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) during training or to turn up late for their practice sessions.

  • More misery for Kien Keat-Boon Heong (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Have national men’s doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong lost their motivation to play?

    All indicators point that way if their string of misfortunes are anything to go by.

    On Thursday, Kien Keat suffered another blow in his bid to revive his flagging career. He had to request for time off from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) after the recurrence of an eye infection.Kien Keat now requires a laser surgery for his eye infection.

    It now requires immediate laser treatment, which he hopes to get done on Monday.

    This means, Kien Keat will miss a scheduled physical test, which is being planned by the National Sports Institute (NSI) next week.

  • Adios Kien Keat-Boon Heong (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: It’s curtains down for Malaysia’s top pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

    On Saturday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) council decided to stop the under-performing duo, who have been together for seven years, from going for any more tournaments.

    A decision will be made later to either split or drop them from the national set-up.Happier times: The pairing of Koo Kean Keat-Tan Boon Heong, seen here at the 2010 Thomas Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur, will finally come to an end when the Badminton Association of Malaysia decide to either split or drop them from the national team after seven years due to poor form in the past few years.

    BAM are disappointed with the world No. 6 ranked Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s performances in the ongoing Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium.

    On Wednesday, the 2010 Malaysian Open winners crashed out in the opening round to China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei – extending their agonising four-year Super Series title drought.

  • Khairy launches broadside at BAM after continuous failure (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Buck up, BAM!

    That is the loud and clear message that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is sending to the Badminton Association of Malaysia leadership under Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff.Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaking to the media after chairing the post-mortem of the Myanmar SEA Games. He wants to meet BAM next week to discuss their future.

    On Thursday, Khairy voiced his dissatisfaction with the BAM management and players, questioning why a country with a wealth of talents still depended on just one player - world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei.

    Khairy believes that the current leadership under Tengku Mahaleel is not addressing the issue head-on.

  • Not fair to give Lin Dan a wild card: Joo-bong (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Japan chief coach Park Joo-bong will be the first one to protest if the Badminton World Federation (BWF) were to offer a wild card again to five-time world champion Lin Dan of China for this year’s World Championships.

    Last year, Lin Dan was awarded the wild card despite missing international tournaments for almost a year. But the men’s singles maestro showed his prowess by beating Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei for his fifth crown at his homeground – Guangzhou. Lin Dan was given a wild card to take part in last year's World Championships, which he went on to win after beating Lee Chong Wei.

    Joo-bong said that the world body’s decision last year proved controversial as many felt that it was unfair.

  • Reward only success (pic)

    DESIRE: Choong Hann believes players must push harder to win titles

    THE BA of Malaysia's (BAM) generous world ranking incentive and match bonus will only bear fruit if the national shuttlers cultivate a desire to achieve success.

    Former international Wong Choong Hann, who enjoyed the benefits of the world ranking incentive and match bonus during his playing days, feels that the onus is on the players to earn quality results rather than settling for the minimum perks offered by BAM.

    Choong Hann was one of the earliest players to receive as high as RM45,000 quarterly for being ranked among the top two in the men's singles and had also raked in lucrative match bonuses by consistently reaching the finals of grand prix events.

  • Incentive rethink needed

    NO EFFECT: BAM's ranking, match bonuses lead to easily satisfied players

     LEE Chong Wei may have won nearly RM1 million in prize money last year but cash, it seems, does not motivate the other national players.

    Or it could be that the players are easily satisfied and if that is the case, it has surely got to do with the BA of Malaysia's world ranking and match bonuses.

    Chong Wei was the only Malaysian shuttler in the top 50 prize money earners list last year as several other national players have been enjoying BAM's world ranking incentive scheme without even winning an international title for years.

    Under the BAM scheme, players ranked in the top 16 in the men's singles and top 12 in the other disciplines are eligible for quarterly bonuses.

    The men's singles and doubles can earn up to RM34,000 and RM33,000 respectively every three months for remaining in the top two positions.

  • Liu Ying to seek alternative medicine for knee injury (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: A desperate Goh Liu Ying went to Kelantan at the behest of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff to seek help from a traditional healer to recover from a right knee injury.

    For the 24-year-old Liu Ying, the traditional method is another option to consider before she makes a decision whether to go under the knife.

    A surgery could put her out of action for about four to eight months and jeopardise her mixed doubles partnership with Chan Peng Soon. There are a number of major tournaments this year – the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from July 21-Aug 4, World Championships in Copenhagen from Aug 25-31 and Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 28-Oct 5.

  • National back-up shuttlers in danger of being booted out (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Some of the back-up shuttlers are in danger of being booted out of the national badminton team.
     
    The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will be conducting an open selection trials at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara from Jan 20-24 and all the states have been asked to send their best players to challenge the back-up shuttlers.
     
    Talent search programme chief David Wee said the trials would be closely monitored by the national coaches.
     
    “We are trying out this open selection trials for the first time. It is a transparent way of selecting the players for the national team and we hope that the best will get in. If a state player can beat the national back-up player, he or she will be invited to join the national team and the back-up player will be dropped,” said David.

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