KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria has refuted claims that the success of young badminton players who won three golds at the Philippines SEA Games was a fluke.
He stressed that the statement by former National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong in an open letter to the Youth and Sports Minister describing the players as ‘lucky’ because Indonesia’s and Thailand’s best players did not compete in the individual events was unfair.
“For me such comments are baseless because the performances of these young badminton players were convincing.
“To say that other countries did not send their best players is inaccurate because the mixed doubles pair from Indonesia Praveen and Jordan were there. So too was singles player like Jonathan Christie in Manila,” he told reporters at a press conference after attending the 17th Executive Meeting of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) here today.
In this regard, Mohamad Norza described Zolkples a wet blanket and that neither the association nor the young players should take heed of his opinions after collecting three gold medals despite BAM’s two-gold medal target.
“For example, national female singles player Kisona performed well and emerged victorious despite the presence of Indonesia’s ‘top two single players’ Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja and Ruselli Hartawan.
“So, I think Zolkples’s comments were unfair and uncalled for,” he said. — Bernama