By Rajes Paul
KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s singles coach Hendrawan has come out with a programme to keep a revitalised Mohd Hafiz Hashim on his toes.
He will be selective in sending Hafiz for international tournaments to create a greater hunger for success in the shuttler.
Hendrawan is preparing Hafiz to mount strong challenges for Malaysia in major tournaments next year — the All-England, Thomas Cup Finals, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and world championships.
Hendrawan said that he was pleased with the signs of revival from the world No. 21 in the last two international Open tournaments — in Macau and Taiwan.
And the task now is to keep the momentum going. Hendrawan attributed Hafiz’s ability to make a comeback to two aspects.
“Hafiz is back improving on his game because he has found the desire to win once again. He wants to turn his game around,” said the former world champion from Indonesia.
“And he is able to rise again because there is good team-work in the national set-up. I am able to have discussion on Hafiz with Rashid (Sidek, singles chief coach) and Misbun (Sidek). Their input has helped me to understand Hafiz better.”
On the comeback trail, Hafiz is down to play in four Super Series Opens tournaments — in Denmark, France, Hong Kong and China. Hendrawan also wants Hafiz to compete in the year-ending Laos SEA Games competition.
“Hafiz will get opportunities to build up his confidence over the next few months. The Super Series will be more challenging,” he said.
“I want him to compete in the SEA Games too, especially in the team event to gear him up for what is expected of him in the Thomas Cup Finals (Malaysia will be hosting the championships next year and bidding to regain the world men’s team title they last won on home ground in 1992).”
However, Hendrawan will limit Hafiz’s participation in Open tournaments next year.
“He will spend more time at home to focus only on major tournaments. And when he goes out, it will be with the desire to win at all cost,” he said.
Hendrawan also hopes that his back-up shuttlers would show improvement by sparring regularly with the more determined Hafiz.
Source: The Star Online