KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) needs to cultivate young potential talents for the international arena from now if it still intends to strike the nation's first Olympic gold medal.
Former national doubles shuttler Jalani Sidek urged BAM to do so saying it was not feasible to depend on veteran players such as national singles Datuk Lee Chong Wei and men's double Koo Kien Kiat/Tan Boon Heong to continue harvesting medals for the country.
"Actually, BAM is till depending on these three players and I don't see them making any effort to scout for talented players for the challenging international championships," he told Bernama.
In the recent 2012 London Olympics, Chong Wei missed bagging Malaysia's first gold medal when he lost to his nemesis, world number one Lin Dan from China by 21-15, 10-21, 19-21 at the Wembley Arena.
Koo and Tan faced further disappointment when they failed to wrest the bronze medal from Korean favourites Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae by 21-23, 10-21.
Commenting on the matter further, the former 1992 Barcelona Olympics doubles bronze medallist, who partnered his brother Mohd Razif Sidek, said BAM can now allow the trio to choose their own paths, based on their various international successes.
"The three (Chong Wei and Koo/Tan) have achieved many international triumphs , so we can shift our focus now to strengthening a succession line-up, even from outside (the country).
"Although this (developing young talents) would take a long time, between eight to ten years maybe, the main thing is to produce players with enough calibre to compete in the Olympics," he added.
He also criticised BAM's coaching system, saying," We're always changing the men's double coach including Rexy Mainaky and Yoo Yong Sung. This is not a healthy method.
"As we know, it takes a long time to build an understanding between a player and a coach. Even if the coach is of Olympic ranking, constant changes will jeopardise the players' performance," he concluded. -- BERNAMA