BADMINTON: Let’s not get distracted over success, says Al Amin

As published in Malay Mail today


By Haresh Deol
haresh@mmail.com.my

PETALING JAYA — The BA of Malaysia (BAM) say it is unwise to place additional pressure on Lee Chong Wei as Malaysians continue to bank on the national shuttler to deliver the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in August.
 
The national body’s acting president Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abd Majid said fans should keep calm and not brush aside Lee’s opponents at the Rio de Janeiro Games which will feature the best in the world,. 
 
Lee got badminton fans elated after winning the Indonesian Open yesterday. His journey to the final earned him enough points to top the world rankings — a position he once held from 2006 to 2014.
 
“We are happy he is back at the top spot in the world rankings but let’s not get overly hyped up ... let’s not be caught in this (frenzy),” he said.
 
Al Amin, who is also the chef de mission for the Games, said it was unfair to say Lee was the only person capable of clinching the elusive Olympic gold.
 
“We have cyclists and divers who are potential medal winners. Even in badminton, we have the men’s doubles and mix doubles teams who could deliver, depending on the draws.
 
“If you ask me as the chef de mission, I would say it is not right for the spotlight to be on Lee alone. He doesn’t need the additional pressure.”
 
Al Amin also warned there were other shuttlers, including the China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long, who were training to peak at the Olympics.
 
“One must not take the situation lightly. The world No 1 spot is good for Lee as this will give him a better seeding during the Olympics. 
 
“But the Olympics is a different game altogether, poses different challenges ... only a handful of matches to reach the final.”
 
Lee featured in the Olympics finals twice — in 2008 and 2012 — but was forced to settle for the silver medal after losing to China’s Lin Dan on both occasions.

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