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Rexy: Fairuzizuan-Zakry can handle pressure at Olympics

 

KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky does not think that Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif will get cold feet if they get the nod to make their Olympic debut in Beijing in August.

He said that the duo had proved their ability to handle big challenges in the recent Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta.

Then, Fairuzizuan-Zakry kept Malaysia alive in the semi-final tie against China. They won the second doubles match against Guo Zhendong-Xie Xhongbo to level the tie at 2-2. But Malaysia went on to lose 2-3 with the defeat of Mohd Hafiz Hashim by Chen Jin.

“They did well in their first Thomas Cup appearance together and I am proud of them for keeping Malaysia's hopes alive at that point,” said Rexy.

“If they can handle the pressure in the Thomas Cup, I believe they will have no problem dealing with it in the Olympics. I would say that the pressure in the Thomas Cup Finals is greater because the whole team count on you. It's more individual in the Olympics.”

While the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) would have no problem naming the two men's pairs for the Beijing Games under normal circumstances, a right shoulder injury suffered by Lee Wan Wah in the Thomas Cup Finals has put his participation in a partnership with Choong Tan Fook in doubt.

Malaysia can pick Fairuzizuan-Zakry as one of their two entries because the duo are among the top 16 pairs in the world at the end of the Olympic qualifying period. The other pair who made the cut are Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

The BAM will subject all three pairs to medical and physical tests beginning today. They have to name the two pairs for the Beijing Games before Friday. No replacement is allowed after the submission of the final list.

“We have to find out the condition of all the players before making a final decision,” said Rexy.

Zakry said that they would not raise their hopes too high over getting to play in the Olympics.

“If we get to go, we will surely be ready for the challenges. We will continue training for our next assignment at the Singapore Open next month,” he said.