Tuesday October 30, 2012
Coach expects Daren to train harder and prove he is no flash in the pan
By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Liew Daren’s breakthrough win in the French Open has been like a breath of fresh air for a nation so heavily dependant on world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei for so long.
It’s good to have someone other than Chong Wei winning international titles but national coach Tey Seu Bock prefers to temper his enthusiasm and excitement until Daren can prove that his win is not a flash in the pan.
Seu Bock hopes that the 25-year-old late bloomer will ride on his success and continue with his exploits at the last two Super Series events – in China (Nov 13-18) and Hong Kong Open (Nov 20-25).
On Sunday, Daren completed a good week in Paris with a strong finish – beating Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen for the title.
It was his first international title since joining the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) set-up nine years ago. Seu Bock is happy with Daren’s breakthrough but doesn’t want to make the mistake of going overboard in celebrating his victory – not yet, at least.
“Daren has finally won ... and he deserves the plaudits. He must now work even harder and show that he is not a one-time wonder,” Seu Bock said before leaving home with the team yesterday.
“His next mission will be to continue with his positive attitude and winning ways at the China Open and Hong Kong Open.”
The win in Paris is expected to catapult Daren, currently ranked 24th in the world, into the top 20 for the first time. Seu Bock is glad that the regular sparring with Chong Wei over the last two years has sparked off a revival of sorts for Daren.
“He has learnt to be more focused, like Chong Wei, in tournaments. I believe he has also learnt how to stay on top of his game during crucial stages – just like Chong Wei – and win points despite coming under tremendous pressure,” said Seu Bock. “Daren still has a lot to learn before he can be considered an established player.
“This is a small step and he must now learrn to maintain this level of play – and emulate the top players’ ability in maintaining consistency at the highest level.”
Chong Wei Feng too has shown a positive attitude in his game and, hopefully, will be able to overcome his lack of consistency so that Malaysia can count on its second echelon of players for honours.
The attention will now shift to the men’s singles back-up players at the Bitburger Open Grand Prix Gold in Germany beginning tomorrow.
Malaysia will be hoping that more young stars will step up. All eyes will be on reigning Pahang Open champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh Soon Huat and last year’s world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli.