Rexy ready to chop underperformers from national team

HANGZHOU: Like the ruthless way he wielded his racquet when he was world and Olympic champion (in men's doubles), Rexy Mainaky is ready to wield the axe after the national badminton team's poor showing at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The Indonesian, who is Academy Badminton Malaysia chief coach, is ready to take an "out with the old and in with the new" approach in rebuilding the national team.

"We will keep the good players and drop those who stagnate our progress.

"I have discussed with the coaches, as well as the management, that we will review our entire programme," he said yesterday.

The Malaysian shuttlers, who were targeted to deliver two silver and one bronze at the Hangzhou Games, had only one bronze to show in the end - from former men's doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

The world No. 5 lost 21-17, 21-12 to India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty in the semi-finals yesterday.

Rexy did not deny the fact that the badminton team had failed to meet their target in Hangzhou.

"I must say that we had expected to go much further in the competition, in the men's team event we lost in the first round.

"But I can say that (Lee) Zii Jia is looking much more confident now. Though he lost to India's H.S.Prannoy, you can see the fight in him."

Rexy said Ng Tze Yong, who was stopped by Japan's

Kodai Naraoka 22-20, 21-15 in the quarter-finals after beating Singapore's former world champion Loh Kean Yew 21-12, 21-14 in the last 32, just needs a little more strengthening and self-belief.

Rexy added that he had discussed ways to improve Tze Yong with coach Hendrawan, and Lee Chong Wei.

On women's doubles Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah's performance, Rexy said: "For me, they played very good. But in the match against the Koreans (Baek Ha Na-Lee So Hee), we saw our pair lose out physically.

"The experienced Koreans delayed the points and made it physically challenging for Pearly-Thinaah. Compared to the top pairs from China, Korea and Japan, Pearly-Thinaah can match their rallies, but cannot match their endurance and shot quality in those moments.

Rexy said mixed doubles Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei have shown improvement but when playing against China's world No. 1 Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong (in quarter-finals), they looked hesitant.

"Their mind and heart were not in it, and they still found it hard to control their temperament on court."

Rexy said there is not much time left to review the existing traning programmes as the next big event is the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"I hope the players realise this too, because we, the coaches and management, can only do so much, the rest is on them."

At the previous Games in Jakarta, the Malaysian badminton squad finished empty-handed and came under heavy criticism.

In the 2014 edition, Malaysia won four bronze: men's singles, men's doubles, men's team and women's doubles.

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