Time for juniors to return to ABM

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PETALING JAYA: THE wait is finally over for national junior shuttlers. They will report back for training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in two batches.

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BAM confirmed yesterday that the players, aged 16-18, will return to Bukit Kiara on July 26, followed by those aged 13-15 on Aug 16.

The standard operating procedure (SOP), which includes Covid-19 swab tests, will apply to all 75 junior players and 10 coaches.

BAM Development Committee chairman Datuk Ng Chin Chai said despite the lack of international tournaments due to Covid-19, the junior players still have much to look forward to, as the National Under-21 Championships and National Junior Circuit Grand Prix Finals will still go on, on Sept 2-6 and Oct 27-31 respectively.

“Following our Development Committee meeting (yesterday), we have decided that 33 players, aged 16-18, will report back for training first on July 26,
followed by 42 players aged 13-15 on Aug 16.

“It has been about four months since they stopped training at ABM, but we are pleased to note that since the government declared the RMCO (Recovery Movement Control Order) last month, our junior players have been training on court with their state BAs.

“Prior to that, our players have been diligently following our Zoom application physical training programme.

“And since they all have been home schooled at ABM before this, their classes have also been conducted online, so nothing is lost there.

“In fact, since they started training on court last month, they have been going through three separate sessions.

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“In the morning, they have their Zoom physical training, followed by classes and then training on court with their state BAs.

“We also discussed about tournaments and we are pleased to announce that the players will compete in the National Under-21 Championships in September and Junior Circuit GP Finals in October.

“As for international tournaments, our focus will be on the World Junior Championships in January in New Zealand.”

Chin Chai also disclosed that BAM are looking to beef up the junior squad by bringing in additional coaches.

“Datuk Misbun (Sidek), who is the development director, has been given the full mandate to look into this.

“Once all the players are back at ABM, give it a month or so before we make any further announcement.

“For now, we have not shortlisted anybody yet,” he added.

BAM first opened their door in June to 16 elite players under the Road to Tokyo programme before the remaining senior squad returned on July 15.

The national body have also invited eight independent players to join their training programme in preparation for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (Oct 3-11) and Tokyo Olympics next year.

-NST

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