Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia hits a return against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark during the men's singles final match at the Japan Open Badminton Championships in Tokyo on September 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Toru YAMANAKATORU YAMANAKA

KUALA LUMPUR: BA of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria reiterated today that men's singles head coach Misbun Sidek will not focus on Lee Chong Wei alone, but all shuttlers in the department.

In fact, Chong Wei, 35, has been given a free hand to plan his own tournaments, as BAM look to move forward by focusing more on backup and junior players.

Norza, who is also the Coaching and Training (C&T) committee chairman, said this when confirming that Misbun will not be accompanying the former world No 1 to Europe next month.

Following his shocking first round exit at the World Championships in Glasgow, Chong Wei bounced back to reach the final of the Japan Open last week.

Unfortunately, he failed to retain the title, when he bowed out 21-14, 19-21, 21-14 to reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

"No, Misbun will not be going to Europe because he is the head coach and he will need to oversee the whole programme and other players. He cannot be following Chong Wei everywhere.

"That is why we have divided the men's singles department into two (elite and backup).

"We have to move forward and understand that this a post-Chong Wei programme. Chong Wei has reached a level where he can plan his own tournaments and choose which coach he wants to accompany him," added Norza.

Currently, the three men's singles coaches under Misbun are Indonesians Hendrawan and Indra Wijaya, and former international Sairul Amar Ayob.

On who will accompany Chong Wei to the French and Denmark Opens, Norza said: "At the moment, it's most likely Hendrawan."

At the recent Japan Open, Chong Wei was assisted by newly-promoted women's singles head coach Tey Seu Bock, as Hendrawan is still away with backup shuttlers for tournaments in Europe (Belgian International, Polish International and Czech Open).

1,185 reads