Taiwan's Chou eyes Olympic badminton gold, even without a coach

It’s an unorthodox approach, but Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen is hoping his decision to go without a coach will help him win badminton gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The world number four has flourished since parting ways with a full-time coach in 2019, with his physiotherapist Victoria Kao filling the role of mentor, cheerleader and critic. With Kao in his corner, Chou won his first Super 1000 title at the 2019 Indonesia Open, and lifted the Taipei Open trophy for a record third time. Now Chou, who reached the last eight…

Read More

Whatever it is, a decision must be made soon

The Malaysia Open, a Super 750 event and one of badminton’s oldest tournaments, is set to be the second last event on the calendar this year to offer Olympic qualifying points. Slated for May 25-30 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, it is also expected to be the first international tournament to open its doors to fans since Covid-19 hit its peak last year. The deadly B.1.617 variant, which caused a “Covid tsunami”, in India has reached our shores. Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican recently said…

Read More

Youth and Sports Ministry confident with Badminton Association of Malaysia

The Youth and Sports Ministry is confident that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) can fulfill all Covid-19 protocol compliance aspects required to host the Malaysia Open 2021, slated to be held at the end of this month. He said organizing such an international standard tournament needed a bigger and different management protocol as it involved athletes from various countries. He said all requirements of Covid-19 protocols needed to be given attention to ensure the participation of overseas athletes in the Malaysia Open was not affected. In a separate development,…

Read More

Not to put unnecessary pressure on Lee Zii Jia

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will not put unnecessary pressure on Lee Zii Jia to deliver gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old has fired up the expectations of fans last month by unexpectedly winning the All England men’s singles title. However, BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria yesterday stressed that their plan has always been for Zii Jia to deliver at the 2024 Olympics. So, Norza is playing down the talk of Malaysia gunning for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. BAM launched their “Wall of Champions” at the…

Read More

Wong Choong Hann brought everyone down to earth

BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann was quick to bring everyone down to earth, despite the national players’ recent success in Europe. According to Choong Hann, everyone needs to continue working hard and not be satisfied with one or two achievements. Earlier this month, Lee Zii Jia became the talk of the town when the 23-year-old captured the All England men’s singles title. “Honestly, I would want to see them all beef up their fitness level after what I saw in Europe. This includes the Orleans Masters.…

Read More

Malaysian Ladies' singles needs the push

If Indra Wijaya can do it with Lee Zii Jia, he can surely do the same to help the women’s singles players. However, the Indonesian-born coach will need some time with the current batch of shuttles. Among the players under his charge are reigning Sea Games champion S. Kisona, two-time world junior champion Goh Jin Wei, Lee Ying Ying and Eoon Qi Xuan Kisona was knocked out in the first round of the All England earlier this month. As a result, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) withdrew her from the…

Read More

Ashleigh Barty's first overseas appearance since the pandemic

MIAMI: World number one Ashleigh Barty is preparing to spend the rest of the season on the road as she prepares to defend her Miami Open title this week in her first overseas appearance since the pandemic. The 24-year-old from Queensland elected not to travel outside Australia after the WTA Tour resumed last year, skipping both the US Open and the rescheduled French Open at Roland Garros in September. The Aussie got a taste of international travel in the age of coronavirus when her journey to the United States ended…

Read More

A fitting replacement for former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei

LEE Zii Jia’s momentous All England triumph is certainly a joyous occasion for Malaysia in the pandemic-era. It also offers hope that Malaysian badminton has finally found a fitting replacement for former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei. Zii Jia showed composure and great mental strength to beat World No 1 Kento Momota and World No 2 Viktor Axelsen en route to the men’s singles crown. The 23-year-old’s 30-29, 20-22, 21-9 win over Axelsen shows that he can maintain his nerves in high-pressure. Zii Jia certainly has the skill and…

Read More

British pair ken and Neal Skupski win the Mexican Open

British pair Ken and Neal Skupski beat Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos to win the Mexican Open doubles title. The brothers converted both break points they created to seal a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over the top seeds. It is their third title together and first since 2019, having briefly split before reuniting this season. In the singles final, second seed Alexander Zverev beat top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to win his 14th ATP Tour title Zverev struggled early on, finding himself 4-1 down and having to save…

Read More

Earthquake fails to stop Alexander Zverev

An earthquake failed to stop Alexander Zverev from beating fellow German Dominik Koepfer to reach the Mexican Open final in Acapulco. Koepfer was serving in the second set when the 5.7-magnitude quake struck. “The lights started shaking and the crowd felt it more than we did,” said world number seven Zverev, who faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The tremors hit shortly after British duo Ken and Neal Skupski had beaten compatriot Joe Salisbury and his partner Rajeev Ram to reach the doubles final. Ken Skupski said the tremor “lasted…

Read More