Sunday September 9, 2012
No decisions after high-powered six-hour CNT panel meeting
By RAJES PAUL and ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching and training (CNT) committee chairman Ng Chin Chai had claimed that it was time for “facta, non verba (deeds, not words).
But as it turned out, yesterday’s CNT meeting ended with neither.
No head coach. No final decision on the top men’s pairing of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong. No firm decisions.
That was the anti-climatic outcome of a six-hour meeting of the CNT committee that discussed about the future of Malaysian badminton.
After all the hoopla over the last few days, one would have expected BAM to come out with specific plans for the future, especially since they had more than one month after the London Olympic Games to conduct post-mortem.
But again they have come up short of expectations, deciding instead to wait until the BAM’s exco meeting in middle of this month to finalise matters.
All Chin Chai would say yesterday was that they will name one head each for their short, medium and long term plans and not have one man oversee the whole programme.
“We will form an elite squad that will serve our short-term targets. The players under this programme will be Lee Chong Wei and Kien Keat-Boon Heong,” he said.
“Our medium-term programme will focus on the younger group of players – aged 21 and below – to excel in 2016. And we will look into players aged 17 and below for our long-term programme – 2020.
“Finance is a major issue and we will wait until the exco meeting to approve our structure.
“Each squad will be handled by a head coach. The 2016 squad may even have a project manager to oversee their programme.”
The BAM will also focus on the 9-14 year olds to peak at the 2024 Olympic Games “but that will come under the development committee.”
On Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Chin Chai said that they will speak to the players first before deciding whether to split them up or not.
“We find that their level of commitment has improved since last year’s World Championships (in Wembley),” said Chin Chai. “It’s sad that they missed out on a medal at the London Olympic Games but they did well as the top four pair.”
BAM general manager Kenny Goh, who is not a member of the CNT committee but present at the press conference, chipped in: “Kien Keat-Boon Heong can still contribute to the nation for the next three to four years. It is best that we find out what they want before making a decision. For now, we still want them.”
Chin Chai also said that they will decide on the reshuffling of the coaches “once the structure has been put in place”.
“We will decide later on the coaches for the different squads,” he said.
It is learnt that Wong Tat Meng, Yap Kim Hock and Cheah Soon Kit are interested in becoming head coaches.
The only change, if you can call it that, is the dissolution of the High Performance Team (HPT), which comprises Datuk James Selvaraj, Wong Ah Jit, Mohd Ariffin Ghani and Chin Chai.
Except for Ariffin, the others will continue to be member of the CNT committee.
Does that constitute change?