'India's CWG badminton mixed team gold points to power shift'

Malaysian coaches Roslin Hashim and Zakry bin Abdul Latif feel private and public investment in badminton in India - unlike in their country - has brought its rewards.

Malaysian coaches Roslin Hashim (L) and Zakry bin Abdul Latif (R), who are in the city for a 40-day coaching camp at the Karnataka Badminton Association.   -  SHREEDUTTA CHIDANANDA

India's victory over Malaysia in the final of the mixed team badminton event at the Commonwealth Games is a sign of the power shift in the sport, believe coaches Roslin Hashim and Zakry bin Abdul Latif.

The Malaysians, who are in the city overseeing a 40-day coaching camp at the Karnataka Badminton Association, feel private and public investment in badminton in India - unlike in their country - has brought its rewards.
 

"India's progress has been too fast," said Zakry, a former Asian Games (team) and World Championships (doubles) bronze medallist, here on Monday. "It is different from our situation in Malaysia. The difference between Lee Chong Wei and the next best player is huge. After India beat Malaysia, it was hot news in Malaysia. We run our academy back home with no government or corporate support. It's a sad story but that's the reality."

READ: Gopi Chand: ‘Srikanth now is one of the best players in the contemporary era’
 

Roslin, a former World No.1, hailed K. Srikanth's recent rise to top spot in the rankings (although he has since been overtaken). "He's a very good player, has a strong foundation. He's very cool and calm on court. His fitness is good too. Him beating Lin Dan in the China Super Series (in 2014) was a turning point in his career," he said.
 

Roslin was pleased, though, that good friend Lee Chong Wei had bounced back after his loss to Srikanth in the mixed team event to claim singles gold with victory over the same opponent.

"Maybe in the team event, they were not really 100% in the game. But in the individual event, Lee Chong Wei was totally different. He was very hungry; he was like a lion, a tiger. That's the Lee Chong Wei we all know," he said.
 

The two coaches hailed the infrastructure at the KBA, where they have been training 48 players since April 20. "I was shocked to see how good the facilities are," said Zakry. This was the first time such a camp was taking place in Karnataka, stated Secretary P. Rajesh.
 

Roslin, whose brother Hafiz won the All England title in 2003, cast his mind back to his rise to world No.1 in 2001. "That is my sweetest memory," he said.

"At the 2001 All England, the year P. Gopichand won, I was nearly in the final. I played for two hours with Chen Hong in the semifinal. I won the first set, led 14-10 in the second and lost. But I have no regrets. I feel really satisfied.

"After the All England, I went straight to the Swiss Open and won. Then after a couple of weeks, I won the Japan Open and became World No.1. God is fair."