KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Misbun Sidek’s role has changed from Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) director of youth development to the director of youth singles coaching effective this week.
Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) executive director Michelle Chai said the change in position was part of a programme to reorganise the national youth squad’s coaching line-up following the disappointing performance at the 2022 BWF World Junior Championships in Santander, Spain, last October.
Michelle said ABM would also utilise the expertise of BAM doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky who had been made the new youth doubles coaching director.
Datuk Misbun will focus on the singles department since that is his specialty. Junior doubles will be monitored by Rexy, where he will oversee it from top to bottom so that it’ll be a seamless transition from junior to senior,” he told reporters here today.
Michelle said the coaches involved also acknowledged the failure of the youth squad in Spain, and as such, all parties agreed that they needed to take a different approach to improve the performance of the players.
For the first time ever, no national player qualified for the quarter-finals of the singles event at the world junior championships, and the national team only finished ninth in the mixed team event.
This was the second time in a row that Malaysia returned empty-handed after the 2019 edition in Kazan, Russia.
Meanwhile, the country’s leading men’s doubles player Aaron Chia is optimistic about Malaysia’s chances of winning the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023 (BAMTC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) which takes place from Feb 14 to 19.
Aaron said that on paper, Malaysia could win its maiden title this time as the squad featured a strong line-up including professional men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia and the country’s number one women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinah.
“Our last mixed team event win was at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, so that has given us a motivational boost for the BAMTC,” he told reporters after the last day of the central training camp ahead of BAMTC here today.
Malaysia, as the fourth seeds of the tournament in Dubai, have been drawn in Group B along with India, Kazakhstan and the UAE.