I read this and felt really touched...what a great loss to Malaysia Indra: Bond to excel By INDRA GUNAWAN http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2002/11/14/sports/indrathird&sec=sports THE first question I asked myself when I came here was where do I start? Then (Wong) Choong Hann had undergone an operation for a wrist injury. (Ong) Ewe Hock was said to have reached his prime. (Yong) Hock Kin was also injured. Three players – (Lee) Tsuen Seng, Sairul (Amar Ayob) and James (Chua) – were ranked between 120th and 150th in the world while juniors (Lee) Chong Wei and (Kuan) Beng Hong had just joined the national team. Faced with this situation, I tried to work on each individual. It was a great challenge. The plan was to get the players ready for individual tournaments in my first year so that their world rankings would improve. And in the second year, I prepared them specifically for the team events. It caught me by surprise when Tsuen Seng, Sairul and James reached the top 16 in the world. I did not expect Tsuen Seng, especially, to move up so fast. Choong Hann and Ewe Hock regained their form quickly and managed to maintain their performances. Ewe Hock won the Malaysian Open after a five-year wait (last year) while Choong Hann ended his four-year wait for a title at the Dutch Open (last month). Despite his age, Ewe Hock showed tremendous fighting spirit en route to winning the Malaysian Open. He is a good example for the juniors. James had the record of being a player banned for indiscipline before I took charge. But he is now the fittest player I have seen in my coaching career. He broke the fitness test record conducted by trainers at the NSC (National Sports Council). He also won his first title – the Malaysian Open this year. It is good to note that Sairul reached world number six. As for Ismail (Saman) and Ramesh (Nathan), they did well to score several upset victories over top players. Chong Wei is in the process of working on achieving higher excellence but he needs a little more time. Yogendran (Krishnan) is young and he can move up because he is a disciplined player. I was also satisfied with the performances of the young players in team events. They justified their selection and more than proved their worth in the Thomas Cup Finals (Guangzhou), Commonwealth Games (Manchester) and Asian Games (Busan). Playing in a team event is not easy. The players have to be mentally prepared and I am glad they handled the situation well. Winning the SEA Games team gold after 10 years was another sweet achievement. For the first time, the men’s singles made it a 1-2-3 finish in the Commonwealth Games and we also finished as runners-up in the Thomas Cup Finals. Overall, I am happy with all my players. When I look back at the last two years, I can say that I am very happy working with the players. I had a good relationship with them. I treat them like my children and educate them like how a father would do. But we know our limits, I did not pamper them. I scolded them when necessary and they accepted it because they knew that it was all for their own good. We worked hard and faced the stiff challenges together. Their defeat is my defeat and their victory is my victory. I have never treated any of the players indifferently because they are all Malaysians. And I was very touched when the players showed their support for me to continue coaching them. I thank them but I am sorry that I’m not able to continue. But whoever is their next coach, they have to continue to work hard. I pray that they will become more and more successful and keep up the “Malaysia Boleh” spirit.