11-14-2002, 06:50 AM #1
Indra Gunawan...the best men's singles coach?
I read this and felt really touched...what a great loss to Malaysia
Indra: Bond to excel
By INDRA GUNAWAN
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.
11-14-2002, 07:19 AM #2
Nice article. I wouldn't go as far to say he is the best mens singles coach, i have been told by some of his ex-players back when he was in indonesia, that Indra was a regular coach but blessed with such a strong team consisting of Joko, Haryanto Arbi, Ardy Wiranata, allan B. etc.
Although i personally think Li Mao was the best coach for mens singles in the world, He made players like Dong Jiong and Sun Jun untouchable for a few years, nowadays players go up and down, and are not stable as they used to be.
11-14-2002, 03:10 PM #3
yeah. for what was achieved, Li Mao certainly surpassed Indra, although Indra does have more fame.
Indra went to Malaysia, who already have a decent set of players, and made them better. he dug them out of their low, they were only better, but not the best.
Li Mao in China produce two very very good badminton players, Sun Jun and Dong Jiong. his work in Korea is what really shows what he can do. he went there to Korea, who has a really weak singles team, and from there, he produced Li Hyun Il and Shon Seung Mo, who although cannot be said to be the "best one", they have been among the best players. He also produced a couple of ladies singles player who at one point managed to beat the best Chinese player in a major tournament.
I still hope to see Li Mao to serve the Chinese again. but that doesn't look likely as long as Li Yongbo is in power.
11-14-2002, 06:49 PM #4
Read today's Star on conclusion of interview.
Poor Indra Gunawan, 55 years old and still having to work to support his family.
11-14-2002, 10:09 PM #5
That Korean ladies player tt bt a Chinese was Kim Kyeung Ran, I think. The Chinese was Zhou Mi, yes...
Btw, how come Malaysia doesn't want Indra anymore? I thought he did a good job. Esp with Ong Ewe Hock. Seriously, I assumed that guy was finished man. He's been playing since I was in primary school! I'm in college now...
11-16-2002, 02:51 PM #6
Just want to give my personal opinions on Indra Gunawan vs BAM case
NSC (National Sport Council) of Malaysia had offered Gunawan to extend his contract for another 2 yrs before Asian Games in Busan. The 'unproper' action from Gunawan was he highlighted what he wanted to see some changes in 'coaching' environment via press without telling BAM's persons first. BAM was not happy with those comments though if BAM could think clearly, there was no wrong with those since what Gunawan suggested was for the good of Badminton Malaysia and I think Gunawan has been patient enough to go thru' all those 'political' movements iniside BAM and he had some reasons to reveal it.
Letter from Gunawan that had been distributed to journalists become a 'trigger' to BAM person (esp, Zolkples Embong, BAM's secretary) to 'fight' back and I think press had play bad role here by blowing up the news out of its proportion.
When time came for the meeting between BAM and Gunawan, I have predicted that his contract will be terminated for the good of both parties (BAM/Zol Embong and Gunawan) and BAM just ignored all the comments from 6 top Malaysian single players. BAM tried to cover up by saying that local coach need to be given chances to play big role as stated in long time visions, objetives, mission, bla-bla-bla....And those reasons came out when BAM terminated the contract. The question are
1. ' Is that really the reason why BAM terminated the Gunawan's contract?'
2. 'Does BAM take into account Gunawan's capability to change style of play and mental resistance of Malaysian single player, before and after Gunawan came before BAM decided not to extend the contract?'
3. Does BAM take into account how all Malaysian single players can upset some of higher rank players in the major tournaments? How James Chua, Lee can give good fight, how Ewe Hock can 'come back' and all the improvements? Don't judge the coach from win or lose, but BAM should consider how the player lose or win AND that's what Gunawan wanted from BAM.
It is great loss for BAM but I wish all the single players can keep on practising and implementing what Gunawan had taught to them.
11-16-2002, 05:10 PM #7
what makes me wonder is that BAM has this history or hiring famous/high profile coaches, and then not continuing their contract after two year. first it was Morten Frost, then Park, now Indra. is it normal to do that? 2 years isn't a very long time to improve a team. may be there is a problem with cost? surely these coaches are expensive. or perhaps non of them managed to revive the team as BAM had hoped?
11-17-2002, 05:00 AM #8
That's the fact of BAM. Like it or not, BAM is the 'wet' organisation, they can get money easily from sponsor. So, where there are sugar and there are ants, persons will have different agenda when they become BAM management. They tried to influence coach or even players for their own agenda. It is very bad for Malaysia badminton. If player can go far and become better and better, then there will be some distractions which created by person who don't like this player. It was very clearly seen in the past and I will not be surprised if there will be distractions for Hafiz' path to aim Olympic Gold medalist Athens 2004 internally, just watch and see !
Now BAM said they want to get local coach involved actively. The next question, who is the local coach who capable to sit on that 'hot chair'? BAM looks like will appoint Misbun (Hafiz' coach) or Rashid (Olympic 96 Bronze Medalist and Hafiz' sparring partner). I am not surprised if Misbun and Rashid deny the offer why ? because they know really well the attitude of the BAM management. I agree that current president of BAM have good leadership but how about the rest ? They aren't replaced by new faces.
I don't say what BAM is doing to get local coach is bad movement but BAM should train the local coach to get enough lessons from foreign coach. I heard ex-player even Indra' assistant said that Indra had no intention to develop badminton Malaysia and Indra just pick up the players which already had the medium skills and not starting from the beginning. Come on ! that was a stupid comment ? BAM and NSC should think how to develop badminton in Malaysia. BAM and NSCshould be the 'think tank' of it and NOT Indra Gunawan. Maybe this ex-Indra assistant forgot, that junior players are trained by foreigner coach as well, like Basri Yusuf (ex- Sigit Budiarto, Haryanto Arbi and Fung Permadi coach), Fanny Megawati and some chinesse coach as well. Now back to the BAM vision, they will replace them with local coaches, right ? Let's see what happen next ?
11-29-2002, 01:19 PM #9
Indra is a strategiest : A CEO Material.
Yes I believe he is up there among the best.
Indra is a strategiest , a CEO material for a listed company, if you know what i mean.
I definitely enjoyed reading the news on some mornings with captions like Choon Han enters the final or Ewe Hock clinched Malaysian Open. With Indra, you know most of the players sent overseas for competition could survive until at least the quarter finals.
Indra made me looked forward to buy the morning Star and the afternoon Malay Mail because you know, there was always hope for a Malaysian player beating their more establish opponents!
I wish him luck and success for his new ventures, what ever that might be.
Zolkples !!!! ...... even your name has an uncommon spelling !!!!
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