Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Malaysia's badminton great Rashid Sidek says country needs to learn from Loh Kean Yew's success with Singapore

SINGAPORE — Malaysia's former national badminton coach Rashid Sidek said that Malaysia needs to draw lessons from Penang-born shuttler Loh Kean Yew's historic win for Singapore, after Loh became the first Singaporean to win the Badminton World Championship men's singles title this week.

Malaysia's badminton great Rashid Sidek says country needs to learn from Loh Kean Yew's success with Singapore

Singapore's Loh Kean Yew celebrates on the podium after winning the men's singles final badminton match at the Badminton World Championships in Huelva, Spain on Dec 19, 2021.

SINGAPORE — Malaysia's former national badminton coach Rashid Sidek said that Malaysia needs to draw lessons from Penang-born shuttler Loh Kean Yew's historic win for Singapore, after Loh became the first Singaporean to win the Badminton World Championship men's singles title this week.

Mr Rashid, 53, told Malaysia's New Straits Times (NST) newspaper: "We (Malaysia) definitely need to learn from this, as perhaps Singapore is more transparent in their players' selection and they do give their players a chance to progress.

"It's definitely a tough pill to swallow as Singapore now has a world champion while we are still waiting for our first." 

Loh grew up in Penang, Malaysia and was coached at the Penang Badminton Association until he was 12, when he was accepted into the Singapore Sports School

The 24-year-old shuttler, who is now a Singapore citizen, has grabbed headlines with his recent string of victories that culminated in him becoming the first Singaporean to win a badminton world championship title.

He has beaten childhood friend and Malaysia's world number seven Lee Zii Jia twice. Loh also lately prevailed over the likes of Denmark pair Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen, and most recently, India’s Srikanth Kidambi in the world championship final.

Mr Rashid said in the NST article, published on Tuesday, that there was too much pressure on Malaysia’s badminton players compared with those from Singapore.

"Perhaps, there was also less pressure (on Loh) as well, him being from Singapore and no one really focused on him that much,” Mr Rashid wrote.

"I believe our players here (in Malaysia) have too much pressure from all parties, the fans included, and that in turn affects their performance.” 

Widely regarded as one of the badminton greats of Malaysia, Mr Rashid made history himself when he won the Thomas Cup in 1992, ending his country’s 25-year barren run in the global badminton competition.

His win remains Malaysia’s most recent in that tournament, which takes place every two years.

He added: "To put it in perspective, Kean Yew is only 24 and has ample time for growth, while in Malaysia, a 24-year-old like (shuttler Cheam) June Wei is out of the national team.

"If we do not have a large pool of players, then perhaps we shouldn't be too fast in dropping players, because we also need quality players to keep pushing Zii Jia,” Mr Rashid said, adding that Malaysia may need to be more patient with its players going forward. 

Last month, NST published an article lamenting the loss of badminton talent to Singapore in recent years. It pointed out that Singapore’s top male and female badminton players, Loh and Yeo Jia Min, as well as other national players have links to Malaysia. 

Related topics

badminton Loh Kean Yew Badminton World Championship Rashid Sidek Sports Malaysia

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa