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04-26-2006, 09:23 PM #1
Be mentally prepared, Roslin tells Hafiz and Beng Hong
THE pressure is great on the third singles players in knockout ties of the Thomas Cup Finals.
And from his past experiences, Mohd Roslin Hashim has cautioned his younger brother, Hafiz, and reserve Kuan Beng Hong to be mentally well prepared to play the match.
Hafiz and Beng Hong are the third and fourth ranked player in the Malaysian singles line-up behind Lee Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann.
Roslin, who has played in all slots of men's singles matches in five appearances in the Finals, is now with the national team in Japan as a sparring partner for the singles players together with Yeoh Kay Bin.
He has had the experience of losing the decisive third singles match against H. Hendrawan of Indonesia in the final of the 2002 Finals in Guangzhou. And Roslin hopes that his brother will be able to cope in a similar pressure-cooker situation.
“Hendrawan and I felt the pressure and he handled it better. Then, Malaysia had a good chance to win the Cup but I lost the match tamely,” said Roslin.
“There is a difference in environment between the Finals and training. All minor details must be taken into account during the Finals. Hafiz must try to stay relaxed and focused.
“The new scoring format (21-point best-of-three games) has also narrowed the gap in standard among players. All the matches could go down the wire and there is a possibility of every crucial tie being decided in the third singles.”
Roslin, however, is confident that his younger brother will live up to the expectation.
“In the 2002 Finals (when the seven-point best-of-five games format was used), Hafiz trailed 1-6 against Bao Chunlai but he caught up and beat the Chinese and Malaysia went on to win the semi-final tie 3-1. He has better mental strength,” he said.
Hafiz’s opposing third-ranked players are China's Chen Jin, Indonesia's Simon Santoso, South Korea's Park Sung-hwan and Denmark's Niels Christian Kaldau.
“He has never beaten Chen Jin. Hafiz lost to Simon at the ABC (Asian Badminton Championships). That was a shock to me. Sung-hwan is a good player but I think, South Korea's fourth ranked player Jang Young-soo is more dangerous,” said Roslin.
“But Hafiz is a better player – in terms of skills and tactics. I am confident he can take on his opponents.”
As for Beng Hong, Roslin hopes the 23-year-old player would be on his toes all the time.
“I made my Finals debut in 1998 in Hong Kong as a reserve with another debutant Choong Hann,” said Roslin.
“Although I was the reserve, I train harder than the others and was ready at all times. Rashid (Sidek) then injured himself and I was called on to play.
“I did not panic because I was ready. Beng Hong has to be prepared to play in all ties – even against teams like Indonesia and China. He must not be caught by surprise.”
In Hong Kong, Malaysia finished as the runners-up to Indonesia, losing 1-3 and the third singles match was not played. Roslin won all his matches in the other ties.
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