Expectation vs reality

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PETALING JAYA: Do expectations meet reality?

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It may not yet be the case for Ng Tze Yong and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, says former badminton great Datuk Rashid Sidek.

Rashid has no doubts about the players’ potential but he feels they have been pushed too soon to deliver results although they have yet to show consistency in their game.

Tze Yong is currently the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) No. 1 singles player in the absence of Lee Zii Jia who has decided to become an independent player.

Expectations are high on world No. 47 Tze Yong to deliver, while it is apparent that the 21-year-old is still a work in progress.

He has had a mixture of good and poor results this year. His best was a semi-final finish at the Indian Open and his two upset wins against Hong Kong players Angus Ng Ka Long and Lee Cheuk Yiu in the Singapore Open that ended yesterday.

“I think Tze Yong is trying too hard to meet the huge demand that has been placed on him. Based on the maturity in his game, he is in the right direction but not there yet,” said Rashid.

“It’s probably the same for Sze Fei and Izzuddin.”

The pair have justified their status as the country’s No. 2 behind Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik after winning the Swiss Open this year.

They have also done well to reach the Malaysian Open semi-finals but crashed out in the first hurdle at the Singapore Open.

“Coaches are under pressure to deliver and players will be affected by it too, which works in some occasion.

“But not all players are able to handle this unless they have tasted success gradually and then regularly.

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“Tze Yong and Sze Fei-Izzuddin are the country’s top elite players but they have yet to stabilise themselves.

“These players may put unnecessary pressure on themselves which can lead to unwanted stress.

“They may feel even worse when they lose to lower ranked players because on paper, as they are the country’s best, they are not expected to lose.

“I feel for them.

“If they don’t know how to deal with it, they can be mentally drained.

“Hopefully, these players are getting the right support and motivation to keep them going. Like everyone else, I want to see them succeed.”

Rashid said Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen is a good example of a player who remains cool under pressure.

“He has gone through the ups and downs but over the years he has grown to become a player who can deal with all kinds of adversity,” added Rashid.

“He trains smart. He goes through quality training and knows his limit.”

Hopefully, a good performance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham at the end of this month will lift the morale of the national team.-The Star