Sunday, 24 August 2014


Ryan & Aaron at Pioneer Badminton Centre, Endah Parade.

The Kem Badminton Astro nationwide youth development programme was organized by Astro  Kasih, Astro’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm since 2012 with the hope to provide young players with access to training venues with qualified coaches, international exposure as well as to continue to assist and nurture young talented  players in  enhancing their badminton skills. Over 1,800 participants from all over Malaysia took part in this year's tryout sessions.

The ultimate prize for the top 30 best players selected this year will go to an all expense paid two week training camp at the prestigious house of champions, the Li Yongbo Badminton School in Dongguan, China.

Both Ryan & Aaron missed last year's event but we are crossing our fingers this year. Both boys made it to the second call up on Sunday 24th August 2014 in Pioneer Badminton Centre, Indah Parade. Wish the boys luck!

Pioneer Badminton Centre is headed by Wong Choon Han, Lee Wan Wah, Chan Chong Ming and other ex BAM players 



Is an expected period whereby Malaysian singles department will very likely be forgotten in the International scene. This will come very soon for the men singles. In fact, it is already happening now in the women singles.  In the absence of Sonia Cheah still nursing injury, our country relies its best women shuttler in Tee Jing Yi rank 35 in the world and she will unlikely be making much progress in her ranking any more.

Taking away the World No. 1 equation, Malaysia do not have any men singles player except for the scrawny Chong Wei Feng rank 19 now and is also seemed unlikely to break into the top 10 ever. The signs were already showing. In the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Malaysia failed to retain the gold medal in men singles competition after winning 6 consecutive competitions since 1990.  
If we dig deeper, now this is the worrying part, non in the inventory of BAM or Private outfits have any players who are worthy to be tagged as potential top 10 hopefuls, let alone taking over the shoes of LCW. Our juniors disappointingly, after crossing the age threshold of 19 years seemed to disappear into oblivion.

We now have to accept the bitter truth. In time to come and this may be as soon as LCW steps down, Malaysian badminton will languish behind the second tier countries ie. Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany etc. Remember, we were once standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of China and Indonesia. We were also ahead of Denmark, Korea, Japan and India. Not anymore. So brace yourself as the dark age in Malaysian badminton is upon us very soon.

Sunday, 17 August 2014


L to R : Edmund, Ryan, Hanson
Flex Pro August schedule was for U12, U13 & U14. Both boys were registered under U12.  However,  I noted quite a number of players participated in two age categories – the second being a higher age category. The group format competition presents an ideal opportunity for these players to spar with worthy opponents inexpensively ie. RM15 with a minimum of 3 games per group. If they qualify for the knock-out stage and thereafter, that will be bonus.
Aaron was bundled up in group A with some notable players.  Aaron started off against Edmund On - a Selangor circuit player and I knew he would be too high a hurdle for him. As expected, he could not match Edmund’s racquet trickery and took a heavy beating,  11 – 30.

His second match with Ting Wen Xuan was a reprisal because Aaron had beaten him before but that was last year. Will Wen Xuan get his revenge this time? Aaron took the early lead but Ting caught up and led during the break. Aaron stayed closely behind as both fought point for point. At one point Ting almost got away as he opened a 4 point lead but somehow Aaron managed to dig deep and came back. Towards the end, Ting committed a few unforced errors and handed the game to Aaron 30 -29.
In the third group match, Hadrian Soh was also no stranger to Aaron. For the record, they have met once or twice before but Aaron has not lost to him yet.  This was also a closely contested match. Aaron took the lead during the break but towards the last third, Hadrian led Aaron. Again Aaron managed to find his way back and took the game back 30 – 28.

Being a parent having to endure games like these were truly not for the faint hearted. It took me a while to recover my pulse back down to a sane level.  This time around, only the group leaders qualify for semi-final. Aaron was one game short because Edmund won all 3 games. Thus Aaron’s U12 campaign ended but not without a good show.
Ryan’s group B was more forgiving. He started off against Chakrit. Although he led Chakrit comfortably 2/3 of the game and was almost home and dry, unexpectedly he lost his way in the final third. Five consecutive errors from Ryan saw Chakrit burst through the finishing line and left Ryan bewildered. I confronted him but he could not explain his performance. He was playing too cautiously with his hand brakes on.

The second match was against Soo Zhi Ying, a girl. I sat a court away in the hope that he will play better without my presence. Fortunately for him, she was not a match for the group.
Final : Edmund & Ryan
His final group match was with Chong Hao Wei whom he had a rousing match beating Chakrit earlier. We knew Ryan stood a chance to top the group if he beat him. Hao Wei was tall and he smashes a lot but he has a notable weakness. He was crutching his chest and was short of breath. I pointed to Ryan that he was in better shape and to take advantage of Hao Wei’s lack of fitness. Hao Wei played right into Ryan’s game, rallying front and back of the court, Hao Wei was made to run and in the end, he was a spent force.

Although both Chakrit and Ryan had 2 wins each, the good news was Ryan had two points more and therefore qualified for the semi finals the next day. He was really upbeat about the competition because he did not expect to come so far. The next morning, Ryan unexpectedly had a fever. However, he was determined to play. So we gave him a dose of paracetamol to suppress his fever. He took on a 9-year old Hanson Low and won his semi-finals in straight sets to meet Edmund On in the final. Although the final was a foregone conclusion, but Ryan played with a lion heart under less than ideal physical condition. He took home a silver medal, a Flex Pro shirt and a certificate. His job was done and he slept for the rest of the day.

Group A
1st Game – Aaron vs  Edmund On                              11 – 30
2nd Game – Aaron vs Ting Wen Xuan                        30 – 29
3rd Game – Aaron vs Hadrian Soh                              30 – 28

Group B
1st Game – Ryan vs Chakrit                                           25 – 30
2nd Game – Ryan vs Soo Zhi Ying (f)                            30 – 10
3rd Game – Ryan vs Chong Hao Wei                            30 – 14
Semi-Final – Ryan vs  Hanson Low                               21 – 11, 21 – 9
Final – Ryan vs Edmund On                                          13 – 21, 9 – 21

Monday, 11 August 2014


L to R : Aaron, Thaanesh & Jia Jie
This was PBVKL’s third tournament this year. After their disastrous first tournament, they had cleaned up their act in the second one. However, their poor organisation reared its ugly head once again here. Not only was the publicity poor, but they also failed to publish the draw on time. Therefore, we went into the tournament blindly unaware who the boys will be playing against.
Aaron had just recovered from a spell of bad cough and fever - no thanks to the dry spell the country is now experiencing. Furthermore, his mid-term school exam had just concluded the week before. Therefore, he was a little short in fitness coming into this tournament.

When we arrived at the Champions badminton hall in Kepong, Ryan immediately searched for the draw. He immediately reported to me in dismay that he was up against the defending champion, Lim Chun Yeh in the first round. I was disappointed with the draw but instead of brooding over the bad luck, I worked on Ryan’s mind in the hope that he will not be distracted by it. It didn’t work. He went down 22 – 30. This is the third time Ryan lost to Lim Chun Yeh this year.

Aaron’s was at the bottom half – thus avoiding both favourites Lim Chun Yeh and Tan Jia Jie. However, in his half, he will face with last year’s Piala Merdeka Champion, Thaanesh Devar whom Aaron lost to him by just 1 single point. Despite being a little lethargic, I told Aaron to put everything into the game. It was a tense game as Aaron took the first set. I knew he had a chance, so I advised him to play a patient game in the second set to force Thaanesh into making mistakes. It didn’t work. Thaanesh upped his game and won the second set. In the decider, we change tactics by pressing Thaanesh with smashes. The game went Aaron’s way and he finally won.
In the final against Tan Jia Jie, I felt it was a one sided game as Aaron committed mistakes after mistakes and made it difficult for himself to give a decent challenge. In the end he exited tamely in straight sets.    

In the U12 doubles, both brothers were out of sorts and were not at their best going down disappointingly in the first round to Lim Chun Yeh & Willi Wong. 

Despite Aaron’s lack of fitness, he was blessed with a favourable draw and made it to the final after all. Ryan on the other hand was not so lucky, as he bowed out in the first round both in the singles and doubles matches. He return home empty handed. Next week, both brothers will participate in the Flex Pro U12 Junior League and I hope Ryan can redeem himself what he failed to deliver here.

1st Round - Ryan vs Lim Chun Yeh             22 – 30

 1st Round – Aaron vs  Oon Zhi Yung         30 – 7

2nd Round – Aaron vs Mohd Hafiz             30 – 28

Qtr Final – Aaron vs Ham Yet Joe               30 – 15

Semi-Final – Aaron vs Thaanesh Devar      22 – 20, 15 – 21, 21 - 17

Final-Aaron vs Tan Jia Jie                              12 – 21, 18 – 21


1st Round – Ryan/Aaron vs Lim Chun Yeh/Willi Wong                       22 - 30

Sunday, 10 August 2014


1) Just before going into the game;

Before : Remember his back hand, watch his drops, stay on your toes, on and on....

Now (Aaron) : Just Relax and be patient.

Now (Ryan)  : Cover your front net and cut off the noob serve.

2) During the match intervals;

Before : You got to play more aggressive, play faster, smash harder etc.

Now     : You are playing at only 85%. Put in 5% more.

3) During the match breaks;

Before : He also makes lots of mistakes.

Now     : He is only 4 to 5 stroke player. You can play 7 to 8 strokes. Just stay with
             him and let him make mistakes.

4) Aaron’s poor long service;

Before : Half court.

Now     : Press him to the back.

5) Emphasis;

Before : Speed and Power

Now     : Speed.

6) Advice against a better player;

Before : Dont worry. Take it as an experience.

Now     : I want to see you fight to the very end.

7) After losing;

Before : Its ok. Try harder next time.

Now     : Tell my why you lost today?

8) Private a.k.a for Ryan; Champion of the Noobs.

    Private a.k.a for Aaron; The nearly boy.

Friday, 25 July 2014


L to R : Roslin Fozi, Aaron Wong, Derrick Eng & Chia Jeng Hon
The Powerful Group of Companies began this private junior league this year whereby players at various age-groups participate in an all-year round league contest to accumulate points for the grand finals at the end of the year. Something akin to the BWF World super series except this is only a few grain of sand on the beach. Apart from their other businesses, they own a badminton hall in Kepong complete with a junior academy. They also market their own brand of badminton equipments and merchandise, the Flex Pro brand.
Following their July schedule, Aaron participated in the U11 singles. In the round-robin group match, he topped his Group B after winning all 3 matches (including a walkover). From quarter-final onward, the competition switched into elimination rounds. Aaron crossed over to meet the runners-up of Group C and won. In the semi-final, he was up against Derrick Eng, a Johor state player. I knew Aaron would fell short playing with Derrick because I have seen the performance of the bespectacled lanky player in past tournaments. All I could advice Aaron was to stay relax, take it as a training lesson and try to match the pace as long as he can. Aaron tried but alas, Derrick’s badminton craft was a notch or two higher than Aaron’s.

Derrick advanced to the finals but lost to the Pahang U12 rank No.1 Chia Jeng Hon. Next month Flex Pro’s scheduled a U12 league whereby both Aaron and Ryan will participate. Stay tuned.


1st Preliminary – Aaron vs  Loo Zi Yi                           30 – 5

2nd Preliminary – Aaron vs Roslin Fozi                      30 – 18

3rd Preliminary – Aaron vs Alif Daniel                       Walkover

Qtr Final – Aaron vs Roslan Fozi                               21 – 15, 21 – 13

Semi-Final – Aaron vs Derrick Eng (Jh)                    13 – 21, 17 – 21

Saturday, 28 June 2014


L to R : Ryan Yong, Ryan Wong, Samuel Chia, Darren Tan

Ryan is defending his title here which he won 7 months ago. This time is different as there are more non-members participating this time around.
Ryan began his campaign against a fast improving Wong Hong Yuan which he had beaten before in the November 2013 tournament. This time Ryan was stretched to rubber game winning by the skin of his teeth 21-18, 15-21, 22-20. In the quarter final, Ryan again had to labour for a three setter against a lithe Rex Hooi. Fortunately Rex tired out in the second half of the third set and Ryan took the serving on the plate but not without some anxious moments.

In the semi-final, Ryan was up against a giant of a boy, Samuel Chia which again was stretched to a rubber game. This time Ryan had no answer to Samuel’s hard smashes using his height and strength to his full advantage. The 3rd and 4th placing was academic as Ryan breezed past his opponent by a large margin. So Ryan had to settle for a bronze medal and took home a Dunlop shoe bag with a tube of shuttle cocks.

Aaron’s mysterious poor form continued in this tournament. The only notable game was against his Putrajaya mate Darren Tan in the quarter final which he lost uncharacteristically. I was utterly disappointed and had no answers to his poor performance.  It is a game which we would want to forget and move on. Darren went on to become runner-up after losing to Samuel Chia in the final.


1st Round :           Ryan vs Bye

2nd Round :          Ryan vs Wong Hong Yuan             21-18, 15-21, 22-20

Quarter-Final :   Ryan vs Rex Hooi                              21-18, 15-18, 21-16

Semi-Final :         Ryan vs Samuel Chia                       21-11, 9-21, 18-21

3rd Placing :         Ryan vs Ryan Yong                           21-2, 21-2           


1st Round :           Aaron vs Wee Pang Sheng           Walkover

2nd Round :          Aaron vs Dey Dilshadh                   21-3, 21-4

Quarter-Final :   Aaron vs Darren Tan                       22-20, 18-21, 17-21