Friday February 15, 2013
Coach Rashid laments absence of team event in SEA Games
KUALA LUMPUR: National singles coach Rashid Sidek feels that Myanmar’s decision to drop the badminton team event from the SEA Games in December has robbed Malaysia of a chance to gauge their strength against perennial rivals Indonesia ahead of the Thomas Cup next year.
“It will be a missed opportunity for us. We wanted to field a younger team for the SEA Games. It would have been good to see where they stand against Indonesia, who usually take the SEA Games very seriously and would have sent their best,” said Rashid.
“The timing would have been great too as it would have given us a last chance (at the end of the year) to assess the team’s strength before the Finals.”
Without the team event, there will be five medals at stake in the SEA Games – in the men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Rashid said there were other platforms for the coaches to evaluate the team’s strength.
One was the recently concluded Indonesian Super League. And then there’s the mixed team events – the Axiata Cup next month and Sudirman Cup in May.
“The Indonesian Super League was good as we exposed Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Goh Soon Huat to a competitive atmosphere. Soon Huat was a reserve but his first taste of being in a team event would have been invaluable to him,” said Rashid.
“Daren, Wei Feng and Arif also gained a lot of experience. They also scored some important wins which would be good for their morale.”
Rashid said they would not hesitate to field these players in the Axiata Cup and Sudirman Cup.
“The Axiata Cup will be a mixed team affair. We may give some players a chance so that we can see how they cope in team events,” he said.