The Star Online > Sports
Tuesday October 19, 2004
Misbun tells shuttlers to bounce back

KUALA LUMPUR: National singles chief coach Misbun Sidek has urged his charges to take the cue from two top Chinese players' ability to bounce back from a low with strong performances.

He was referring to Lin Dan's and Xia Xuanze's performances in two back-to-back Open tournaments – in Denmark and in Germany.

The 22-year-old Lin Dan, who suffered a disappointing first-round defeat by Singapore's Ronald Susilo in the Athens Olympics in August, got back on the winning track by beating his more senior teammate Xuanzein both the finals.

Xuanze did not get to go to Athens because the Olympics rules limited a country to a maximum of three entries even if they had more players among the top 16 in the world. And his performances in the two tournaments certainly brought back some satisfaction.

Misbun said yesterday that he hoped the Malaysian players would have the same “I want to prove myself” attitude as the Chinese when they make a return to international competition at the China Open from Nov 9-14.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) had decided to bar their shuttlers from international Opens following the national team's empty-handed outing at the Athens Olympics.

Misbun has yet to name his team for the China Open but the top three players – Lee Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Wong Choong Hann – are expected to feature in it.

“I want the players to prove themselves in the China Open. Just look at the determination of the two Chinese players (Lin Dan and Xuanze), who also had their share of disappointments,” said Misbun.

“Like China, two of our youngsters Chong Wei and Hafiz are now doing better than their senior, Choong Hann.

“In two local tournaments after Athens (Malacca and Selangor Opens), Chong Wei defeated Hafiz in the final. Now, I hope they will take this competitive edge into the international scene.”