so, do you all think he can be another lee chong wei? Quoted from the star 2006/05/24 Shuttler told to leave Misbun and train under Li Mao KUALA LUMPUR: Following his uninspiring performances at the Thomas Cup Finals, men’s singles back-up shuttler Kuan Beng Hong has been removed from the guidance of national coach Misbun Sidek. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching and training committee met at the Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday to conduct a post-mortem on the Finals in Japan, and decided that the 23-year-old Beng Hong be placed under Chinese coach Li Mao. Beng Hong played at third singles for Malaysia in the semi-finals tie against Denmark but froze when it mattered most. With his defeat to Joachim Persson then, Malaysia lost the tie 2-3. Besides Beng Hong, it was also decided that two men’s singles players under Rashid Sidek’s Project 2010-12 would be put under the charge of Li Mao. The names of the two juniors will be decided after a meeting with Li Mao, who is only expected to return from a short break in China on Saturday. The promotion of the juniors into the national team is expected to add more depth in the men’s singles – especially with the temporary vacancy created by veteran Wong Choong Hann, who needs six months to recover from a snapped tendon rupture suffered during the Finals. The other players currently training under the Chinese coach are world number two Lee Chong Wei, Yeoh Kay Bin, Lee Tsuen Seng, K. Yogendran and James Chua. Except for Chong Wei, the performances of all the others have stagnated. The decision yesterday was seen as a big blow to Misbun’s credibility as a coach. He now only has Mohd Hafiz Hashim under his care until this year’s Asian Games in Doha from Dec 1-15. But Misbun has been given permission to train Hafiz at the Kelana Jaya Hall – as he had done over the last few years. Misbun has coached Beng Hong and Hafiz since March last year. While Hafiz had won three Open titles last year – Swiss, Thailand and Dutch, Beng Hong has not improved much. Hafiz, however, also came under fire for his inconsistent performances during the Finals recently. In the semi-finals, he played well to beat Kenneth Jonassen in the first game but ran out of steam in the next two. BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, who is also the chairman of the coaching and training committee, said the decision to leave Misbun with only one player was the best. “Nusa Mahsuri’s Misbun and Hafiz are part of the AsiaComm programme and, as such, they are still part of BAM’s plan. We have decided that Hafiz should continue training under Misbun until the Asian Games,” said Nadzmi. “But we have decided to put Beng Hong under Li Mao’s charge. We would like Beng Hong to be exposed to Li Mao’s coaching style.” When asked whether the decision showed a lack of confidence in Misbun’s coaching style, Nadzmi said: “This is also what Misbun wanted. Sometimes, changes are needed so that we can come out with better outcome. There is room for us to make the changes now and we are doing it.” “There should be no question of lack of sparring partners for Hafiz although he trains at a separate venue. He trains with Roslin (Hashim). There are also joint sparring sessions with those based at Kiara. “On top of that, our chief coach (Yap Kim Hock) monitors Misbun’s programme for Hafiz. We also have a conditioning expert for Hafiz.” On the semi-final defeat at the Thomas Cup Finals, Nadzmi said: “We are happy that Malaysia reached their semi-finals target at the Finals in Japan. We could have gone all the way to the final if not for Choong Hann’s injury.” “That unfortunate incident put the team off balance. But we agreed that there is still room for improvement. We still need to work on all areas – coaching, training and managing – to help put Malaysian badminton on the right track,” he added. The players will now turn their attention to the World Championships from Sept 18-24 in Madrid and the Asian Games.