Now Reading
National Badminton Director Rexy Mainaky Apologizes For Failure In Malaysia Open

National Badminton Director Rexy Mainaky Apologizes For Failure In Malaysia Open

In an emotional address, Rexy Mainaky apologises for Malaysia’s badminton performance at Malaysia Open 2024 and urges players to fight with a ‘lionheart’ in upcoming challenges.

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter, or Telegram and WhatsApp channels for the latest stories and updates.

Rexy Mainaky, the national coaching director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), has issued a heartfelt apology to fans and sponsors, including Petronas, following the disappointing performance at the Malaysia Open 2024.

The national team’s early exit, with all players knocked out in the quarterfinals, has sparked a wave of discontent among supporters.

Men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia fell 21-16, 19-21, 15-21 to China’s Lu Guangzu in the first round. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The Malaysian badminton community, known for its passionate following, has been left disheartened as their hopes for a strong showing at the prestigious tournament were dashed.

Comparisons have been drawn with Singapore, whose players managed to secure a spot in the semifinals, further highlighting the underperformance of the Malaysian squad.

Despite their early departure from the Malaysia Open, Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah, the national women’s pair, took heart from the competition, such as playing with more freedom and without the burden of past injuries. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Rexy, a former Olympic gold medallist, has taken responsibility for the setback to address the criticism and reassure stakeholders.

“I understand the disappointment of our fans and sponsors,” he said. “We are committed to doing better in future tournaments.”

National men’s doubles player Teoh Ee Yi celebrates after winning the round of 16 in the Malaysia Open 2024 against Danish opposition, showcasing an unwavering desire to win. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

With the Indian and Indonesian Opens on the horizon, Rexy is focused on motivating coaches and players to reflect on their shortcomings and improve their game.

His message to the players is one of resilience and determination: “Give your last blood for every tournament you participate in. Challenge yourself and keep telling yourself you can do it. Let’s fight with a lionheart because every step towards your dream is difficult, as every player worldwide shares the same dream.”

The country’s last hope, men’s doubles Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, were defeated 16-21, 21-18, 21-13 by world champions Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae of South Korea, ending their campaign. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The responsibility should not be placed solely on Rexy, as external factors such as injuries have diminished Malaysia’s prospects.

It was recently confirmed that men’s singles player Ng Tze Yong had sustained a muscle tear in his lower back and would not be able to participate in the upcoming Indian Open in New Delhi.

Tze Yong sustained the injury during the tournament’s first round and had to retire in his game against Japan’s Koki Watanabe.

Insights from the Unpredictable Nature of Competitive Sport

Rexy’s statement acknowledged the disappointment felt across Malaysia and subtly highlighted the universal challenges top-tier badminton nations face.

Indeed, the parallel between the Malaysian and Indonesian teams’ performances has provided a slight reprieve to Malaysian badminton enthusiasts grappling with their team’s early departure from a tournament where they had pinned high hopes.

This shared outcome with Indonesia — a nation that has historically been a benchmark for success in badminton — has offered a unique perspective on the unpredictable nature of competitive sports.

This shared setback has sparked conversations about the pressures of high-stakes tournaments and the fine margins that separate victory from defeat.

Badminton Fans Voice Frustration as Disappointment Continues

The recent string of disappointing performances has led to a surge in critical discussions and debates among badminton enthusiasts.

Fans are vocalizing their concerns about the team’s performance and expressing their desire for a turnaround in the sport.

Despite the latest disappointments, it’s important to note that the Malaysian badminton team has not been without its victories.

The players have shown flashes of brilliance in various international fixtures, and their talent remains undisputed, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the wave of criticism.

While social media can often amplify negative sentiments, it also serves as a platform for rallying support and fostering a collective resolve to overcome challenges.

Malaysian badminton supporters, young and old, rain or shine, cheer on the players at the Axiate Arena. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Fans’ Unwavering Support and BAM’s Organizational Excellence

While the players didn’t meet expectations, the fans at Axiata Arena showed unwavering support, cheering and backing the Malaysian players even during difficult losses.

Even in defeat, the fans expressed their appreciation by patiently waiting for autographs and taking selfies with the players, demonstrating their unwavering support.

Additionally, BAM deserves praise for organizing another well-run tournament, providing fans with exciting action and exceptional value for the time and money spent.

The organization’s attention to detail extended to taking good care of the media personnel, ensuring they had the necessary support and resources to cover the event effectively.

After being defeated by Thai opponents in the second round, mixed doubles player Shevon Jemie Lai cheerfully obliges a group selfie with fans. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Indeed, fans recognized that winning wasn’t the only thing that mattered and appreciated the players’ positive attributes, including their personalities, as demonstrated by a huge crowd at Axiata Arena throughout the tournament.

Some pointed out that women’s singles player Goh Jin Wei, affectionately known as Wei Wei, is so cute, funny, and adorable off the court, but when she steps onto the court, she transforms into a fierce and aggressive player.

Jin Wei also earned the crowd’s admiration by enhancing her game and fitness, even though she lost 15-21, 22-24 to Indonesian player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the second round.

Reflecting on the Past, Hoping for the Future

Many Malaysians miss the glory days of legendary badminton players like Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Rashid Sidek, who were instrumental in elevating Malaysian badminton to international prominence.

The high achievements of the players have established a benchmark for Malaysian badminton, and the present performance of Malaysian players has led to much contemplation.

But there is hope that better days are ahead for Malaysian badminton, still pursuing its first Olympic gold and the Thomas Cup, which was last won in 1992 on home soil.

The sport has a strong foundation and a rich history of success, so it’s possible that with the right strategies and support, Malaysian players can regain their competitive edge and achieve success in the future.

Share your thoughts with us via TRP’s FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Threads.

Get more stories like this to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

© 2024 The Rakyat Post. All Rights Reserved. Owned by 3rd Wave Media Sdn Bhd