Malaysian players finalise World Championship preparations in Bath Some of the world’s top badminton players have been finalising preparations for the forthcoming World Championships at the University of Bath.
The Malaysian team have been training in Bath for a week ahead of the Yonex BWF World Championships, which get underway in Paris on Monday (23 August) and conclude on 29th August.
Koon Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, ranked number one in the world in men’s doubles, were among the athletes training at the Sports Training Village.
The team training in Bath also included Mohd Hafiz Mohd Hashim, the 2003 All England champion, and Wong Mew Choo, Malaysian women’s number one and 2007 China Open champion.
The badminton players were the first Malaysian athletes to train in Bath following the MoU signed between the University and the Government of Malaysia, through the National Sports Institute, in March.
That will see Malaysian teams training at the University of Bath across a range of sports ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Arrifin Mohd Ghani, Director Elite Branch of the National Sports Council of Malaysia, said: “The athletes have been very happy here and this is the beginning of our relationship. The team spirit has been going up while we have been here and that’s very important.”
David Wee, Team Manager of the Malaysian badminton team, said: “It’s been fantastic. It’s been a good change of environment for them compared with the normal routine they have at home.
“There have been no disturbances for us here and the team spirit is good. They’ve got over the jetlag and acclimatised to the conditions.
“As far as the conditioning and preparation is concerned, the physical instructors have done their part, at this point in time it’s now up to the players. It’s all about having the mental strength and using the correct tactics at the right time.”
Although the Malaysian men’s doubles pair are ranked one in the world, he predicted it will be a close battle for the coveted title in Paris.
“As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing separating the top four doubles pairs in the world,” he said. “Any one of them could win depending on their form on the day.”
Pete Bush, the University of Bath’s head badminton coach, said it has been great for his young players to be able to watch the Malaysian team training.
“It’s been an inspiration to have the Malaysian team here. We’ve encouraged our own high performance players to watch their training sessions and to learn from them.
“It’s been great to see the content of their training – they do everything harder, longer and faster. They have the intensity and the focus, but you can also tell that they really enjoy their training. It’s also encouraging to see that we’re doing similar things to them, so we’re going along the right lines.”
“I hope they achieve the results they aspire to, as long as they don’t beat English players along the way!” he added.
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