BAM had its council meeting today at Grand Dorsett, Subang. Among those present at the meeting were BAM’s president, Y.M. Tengku Tan Sri Dr Mahaleel, his deputy presidents, Ybhg. Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria and Tan Sri Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid.

Despite speculations that Tengku may resign from his current post, he was calm enough to answer the press when asked regarding this matter. “I have requested for leave of absence due to medical reasons and Tan Sri has agreed to help out once I go on leave. In my absence, he will be the acting president although I will still try to help as much as I can. I do not know how long will I be on leave, it depends on how my body reacts. Nevertheless, Malaysia comes first,” said Tengku when asked on the duration of his absence.

As for Tan Sri Mohamed Al-Amin, he mentioned that being elected as the Chef de Mission for the 2016 Olympics at Rio and now becoming the acting president in BAM will be a heavy responsibility but he will carry out the task that has been entrusted to him. In terms of players preparation for Olympics, Tan Sri said that he will work closely with Morten Frost, BAM’s technical director.

In addition, Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza expressed his gratitude towards Tengku for making a wise decision for BAM as well as matters concerning his health. He hoped that Tengku will have a speedy recovery. Datuk Seri also stated that based on Morten’s presentation during the meeting, the national players are lacking of fitness compared to foreign players.

“As I have said earlier, we do not want players to just qualify for the Olympics but to bring back a medal for Malaysia. Therefore, for those who will make the cut to Rio next year, we will work closely with the National Sports Institute (ISN) especially in terms of their fitness”, said Datuk Seri after the meeting.

He was also quick to reply on Chong Wei’s slump in the last three superseries tournaments. He indicated that Chong Wei’s main challenges are not just Lin Dan and Chen Long, instead, there are many young and upcoming players like Viktor Axelsen, Kento Momota and Wei Nan who also can pose a threat to the former world number one. Datuk Seri will be leaving for the French Open this Tuesday and he hopes to motivate Chong Wei to move forward and do well in Paris.