THEY were -- officials and coaches alike -- quick to go into defensive mode the moment it became clear that Lee Chong Wei had suffered a serious injury.
Malaysia's greatest gold medal hope could be out of the London Olympics but the officials and coaches said Chong Wei's inclusion in the Thomas Cup squad was unavoidable.
BA of Malaysia general manager Kenny Goh said a decision had been made to send the best to Wuhan and Chong Wei's injury was just pure bad luck.
There can be no disputing that, especially as all the top teams are represented by their best players, including China who have Lin Dan leading their defence of the Thomas Cup.
What Chong Wei's injury did, however, was put into perspective just how overly dependent BAM and, for that matter, Malaysia have become on the World No 1.
While the nation hopes that Chong Wei's injury doesn't rule him out of London, what Tuesday's incident did do was show just how fragile Malaysia's Olympic hopes are.
One awkward landing and Malaysia's guarantee of appearing on the Olympics medal tally is in danger of disappearing and this places BAM firmly in the spotlight.
Numerous warnings were issued that BAM, in depending totally on just one player, was in imminent danger but they went unheeded.
The steady flow of sponsors coming into BAM had some officials believing that Chong Wei was not the only reason why badminton was so popular but what else does the sport have?
BAM president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh yesterday said what fans have known for a long time now -- Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong's partnership is in its last legs but, sadly other than Chong Wei, the pair are Malaysian badminton's highest profile players.
They will, barring injury, be in London but can Malaysia depend on the pair to -- forget gold -- win even one of the lesser medals?
That they were split up on Tuesday was proof that the coaches didn't have faith in them to beat Denmark's top pair, so where does that place them against the best from China, Indonesia and South Korea in the Olympics?
Kien Keat-Boon Heong's downward spiral, Nadzmi admitted, started not long after their 2006 Asian Games triumph but why has it taken so long for BAM to acknowledge this?
Had action been taken when the pair first started showing signs of slipping into a rut, they could -- albeit with different partners -- still be a force to be reckoned with and Chong Wei would not have been the one real hope for badminton in the Olympics.
And what about the lack of singles cover for Chong Wei? Liew Daren delivered a point in the 3-2 defeat to Denmark but at 25, has he shown enough to convince fans that he will be a worthy replacement for Chong Wei?
The answer is an emphatic 'No' and this is yet another failure BAM must acknowledge.
Some have said that Chong Wei's injury is due to his tight playing schedule but what else can he do, given the lack of quality sparring partners in the training camp.
What makes it worse is that the other players -- as often lamented by singles coach Rashid Sidek -- have not utilised the opportunity of training alongside a world class player to better themselves, so why then are these players still in the national set-up?
Malaysia would also not be in a state of despondency had BAM quality players in the women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles.
Lin Dan was a first-round casualty in the 2004 Games but that didn't stop China from winning three gold in Athens while Korea have tasted Olympic glory in men's doubles, women's singles and mixed doubles.
Indonesia's Olympic titles, since badminton made its Olympic debut in 1992, were won in the men's and women's singles and men's doubles.
Malaysia's rivals go into the Olympics targeting gold in each of the five events on offer and this is the direction BAM must also head in.
Chong Wei's injury is unfortunate and hopefully, not serious enough for him to miss the Olympics but for BAM, it is a wake-up call to which urgent attention must be paid.