from The Star Online IT ended as though the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) did themselves a favour by sending the back-up team to the Korat SEA Games. The team were totally out of depth against the Indonesian, Thai and Singaporean sides, who were at full strength. And it laid bare the sorry state of the future echelon of our national players. In the competitions, which ended at the Vongchavalitkul University in Korat yesterday, Malaysia took four bronze medals as losing semi-finalists – their worst-ever performance in the SEA Games series since competing in the sport at the 1961 SEAP Games in Rangoon. Malaysia had been finalists in at least one of the events, team or individual, over the last four decades. The absence of top women’s single shuttler Wong Mew Choo and doubles specialist Chin Eei Hui further diluted the strength of the women’s team. The bronze medallists in Korat were Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui (men’s doubles), Julia Wong (women’s singles) and the men’s and women’s teams. Top male back-up shuttler Tan Chun Seang had to pull out because of a wrist injury; Chan Kwong Beng crumbled under pressure; Julia and Lydia Cheah failed to make breakthrough performances; and doubles players Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Khoo Chung Chiat continued with their inconsistency. Is the Project 2010-2012 squad’s chief coach Rashid Sidek doing a good job with his two-year-old team? Or does he not have the material to work with? Rashid agreed that it was a bit of both and added that the future was not as bleak as indicated by the showing in the SEA Games. “I am as disappointed as anyone else but I am glad my players were given the exposure here. They know where they stand ... not close at all against the top players from other countries in the region,” he said. “I have ordinary players in my team. The good ones, among them Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How, had already been promoted to the senior team. “The current batch have the talent and some of them have showed progress but it has been gradual. I am hoping for more time to make them special.” Rashid agreed that it had been a learning experience for him too as a coach responsible for grooming a solid team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympics. “Sometimes, players take advantage when the coach is not too strict. I will no longer tolerate indiscipline. I will crack the whip next year. There have been several incidents this year but I have let the errant players off the hook with just warnings,” he said. At the Hong Kong Open two months ago, several of his players who were eliminated went to Macau without even informing him. They chose to have a good time elsewhere even though their team-mate, Lim Kenn, was still playing in the competition. “Some of the players, among them Mohd Arif (Abdul Latif) and Lydia, will be dropped to accommodate those from BJSS (Bukit Jalil Sports School). Hopefully, there will be more quality performances next year.” The writing is also on the wall for two senior players who featured in the Korat Games. Yeoh Kay Bin and Kuan Beng Hong certainly could have done much better. But they have made themselves look as though they are now just good to serve as sparring partners for the national team and not to carry the challenges for honours. 1) In the 1st place, isnt Arif & Lydia with BJSS ? Lydia said in the interview that next year she will be promoted to back-up squad, i.e. Rashid Sidek's squad. Isnt Arif the best MS player from BJSS? He lost Chen Long in World Junior finals(or is it Asia Junior). I think the reporter misquoted Rashid. So, why should they be dropped ? There are other players who havent havent made much headway as junior players, they should be dropped 1st. 2) Between YKB, KBH & K Yogendran, YKB is the better one. At least he gave a good fight to Taufik. 3) Our senior MD Gan/Lin? They didnt do well either. Lost tamely to Hendra/Hendri in team event. Lost also straight sets to Kido/Setiawan.