National singles coach Hendrawan has promised to give equal attention to all shuttlers under the special project squad. The formation of the squad initially received criticism as many felt it was only to help three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei win the men’s singles event at the World Championships in Glasgow in Aug 21-27. File pix by Osman Adnan

KUALA LUMPUR: National singles coach Hendrawan has promised to give equal attention to all shuttlers under the special project squad.

The formation of the squad initially received criticism as many felt it was only to help three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei win the men’s singles event at the World Championships in Glasgow in Aug 21-27.

Others in the squad are Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Soo Teck Zhi, Soong Joo Ven, Chong Yee Han and two-time national champion Lim Chi Wing.

“The others are not in the squad specifically to spar with Chong Wei. All will train together and each have specific targets to achieve.

I hope to produce at least three quality players from this initiative,” said Hendrawan, who is the head of the special project squad, at Academy Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara today.

“BAM technical director Morten Frost has handed all reports and proposals of those in the squad to me for review. I am still looking at them and will make adjustments if necessary.

“However, the principle is the other five shuttlers must try to achieve the projection handed to them in terms of ranking by the end of the season,” said the Indonesian.

Hendrawan said the shuttlers’ performances will be reviewed and those who make an impact will be pushed harder in tournaments.

“Chi Wing has good potential. I was impressed with his fighting qualities at the recent National Championships. He possesses the qualities of a top player. If he can keep up the momentum, I will push him even harder to excel.

“He first needs to perform in the lower-tier events in order to improve his ranking. As for now, he will be compete in the International Circuit and Grand Prix Gold tournaments,” he said.

Hendrawan said World No 31 Iskandar is currently grounded from tournaments as he is carrying a back injury.

“I will not allow him to play unless he makes full recovery as his persistent back problem has been affecting him since last year. His participation in the Malaysia Open on April 4-9 is still 50-50.

“I do not want to risk him as he is our prospect for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” Hendrawan added.

431 reads