Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bath-ing in controversy

The national badminton team are in Bath to prepare for the World Championship in Paris. Hmm...Brickendonbury all over again, I guess.

When the plan to establish a High Performance Training Centre at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury was broken and buried, efforts were made to set up centres elsewhere in UK, albeit on a smaller scale and low-key.

So enter the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Sports Ministry, through the National Sports Institute (NSI) and the University of Bath sometime in 2007.

Why Bath?

Proximity to London, ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Great facilities. Read Tony Mariadass' take here.

But Lee Chong Wei, arguably our best bet to grab the honours in the World Championship, will be competing in Paris, 500km away with a one-hour difference.

If an athlete is focused on the job, he or she prefers hassle-free logistics. A trip to Paris a week ahead would be a better option. Bath, for all its state-of-the-art facilities, does not provide a top-notch performer like Chong Wei an environment conducive for success. This is not the time to evaluate Chong Wei's game, unless the experts in Bath have an in-depth analysis on Lin Dan's weaknesses.

Read New Straits Times report here and Haresh Deol's Tale of four Datuks

NSI director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz's old boss Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, in his column in Utusan Malaysia, questioned the wisdom behind the trip, saying even if the experts in Bath were armed with the necessary scientific knowledge on Lin Dan, what can they do to transform Chong Wei in nine days?

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