LOOK after your backyard, and not worry about others. That was Wong Choong Hann’s advice to the national shuttlers ahead of their European outing in the coming weeks.
The BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director made the comment after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Friday that China players have been given the green light to compete in Europe amidst fears of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Over the past month, Malaysian shuttlers have been enjoying some form of luxury due to travel bans imposed on China.
At the recent Asia Team Championships in Manila, Malaysia reached the men’s final and the women’s semi-finals in the absence of China and Hong Kong.
There were also no China shuttlers at the Barcelona Spain Masters that ended yesterday.
Unfortunately, top pairs like Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles), Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles) and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) failed to capitalise on China’s absence.
“I think the players shouldn’t concern themselves with who plays and who doesn't.
“You want to be a top player? Then be prepared to face anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s China players or not.
“Our players should only focus on their preparations,” Choong Hann told Timesport.
China shuttlers will return to the circuit starting with next week’s German Open, followed by the All England (March 11-15) and the Swiss Open (March 17-22).
With slightly over two months left before the end of the Olympic qualifying period, players will be going all out to book their Olympic spots.