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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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The return of the ” Samurai “

BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann has urged the national shuttlers to be ready for the tough challenge. World No 1 Kento Momota and his Japanese counterparts will return to action for the first time this year at the world’s oldest tournament. “Although the All England is not an Olympic qualifying event, it will be different from the previous tournaments this year. “It will only get tougher from here when the rest of the world returns to competitive action,” said Choong Hann. For Momota, it will be…

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A test of mind and heart for Lee Zii Jia.

Based on sports science alone, it will be too much to expect a miracle from the 23-year-old national men’s singles. But if Zii Jia defies the odds like he did last year when he reached the All England semi-finals before losing narrowly to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, it could boost his dented spirit. “We have sports science to calculate how fast a player can recover, and in Zii Jia’s case, he will need some time. “You can’t just achieve something overnight by simply thinking of it,” he added Zii Jia has…

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National women's doubles have not forgotten their humble beginnings

The World No 30, who are expected to move up the updated rankings this week, took time to pay tribute to their former coaches, Rosman Razak and Wong Pei Tty, whose services were not extended by BAM last year. “Honestly, coach Rosman was my inspiration when everything around me was crumbling.Said Thinaah “I was lost and didn’t know what to do when my singles career was going nowhere.Said Thinaah Pearly, who was already making waves as a junior player with former partner Toh Ee Wei, also spoke highly of Rosman…

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