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Wong Choong Hann
Wong Choong Hann

Having to postpone the Olympics by a year is no small matter, but it was a decision that had to be made, said BAM coaching director, Wong Choong Hann.

He believes it was a wise move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government to put the Games, initially scheduled for July 24-Aug 9, on hold until the Covid-19 pandemic is no longer a threat.

The former world No 1 admitted that stakeholders, as well as the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will be concerned over the commercial impact.

As for the players, Choong Hann said: “There will be pros and cons. I think it's a wise decision to put the Games on hold but I can also see why bodies like the BWF cannot just come up with statements.

“Commercial value is so important in sports these days. The amount of money that has already been spent, sponsors commitment and so much more.

“Some may even use this as a reason to review their contracts. So on their (BWF) end, it may not be so good.

“However, I think players can now breathe a sigh of relief. Many are still uncertain but at least their health and safety is still top priority.

“Also, our Malaysian athletes are not the only ones facing these tough times, it's the whole world.”

When asked if any players would benefit or be affected by the postponement, Choong Hann said: “It's a tough question. I think for most players, it shouldn't be a problem. They can now focus on their own preparation and just be ready for court training and competitions.

“Perhaps, older players may start feeling the heat. The Olympics may be postponed for only a year, but as an older player, there is much at stake.

“On the bright side, I think the postponement would do good for some of our younger players like Lee Zii Jia or even men's doubles, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who have a little more time to solidify their game.”

The government has also extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) to April 14, which means Malaysian athletes will continue to train at home.


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