Whether or not it will take five or fifteen years to produce another Lee Chong Wei, Misbun Sidek, the single men’s head coach, does not waste any time.
The 59-year-old Misbun believes he can turn Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, and Leong Jun Hao’s likes into a force to be taken into account.
But as Chong Wei did in his younger days, they must demonstrate the correct approach in training and a powerful willingness to become a champion.
Misbun recalled that coaching the badminton legend back then was “effortless.”
Misbun, who served the national team from 2003 to 2010 before returning to his second stint in June 2017, confessed that with the present players he is now facing a distinct challenge.
Like it or not, Misbun and his two Indonesian assistants Hendrawan and Indra Wijaya have a challenging job for grooming players who can compete and win at the greatest level.
Malaysia’s president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria’s Badminton Association said Malaysia can not afford to wait as long as 10-15 years for another player like Chong Wei to be produced.
As it stands, only Zii Jia appears to be the greatest hope of the nation as it ranks No. 20 in the world at the moment.
Other national team players include Soong Joo Ven (No. 64), Cheam June Wei (83), Lim Chi Wing (159), Tan Jia Wei (169), Leong Jun Hao (318), Muhd Ziyad Tah (344), and Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, and Lim Chong King.