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ill-prepared Mahoor exposed in Tokyo Olympics, says international coach Raziuddin Ahmad

By our correspondent

LAHORE:  Former Pakistan’s badminton coach Raziuddin Ahmad has said that the country’s premier shuttler Mahoor Shahzad has not been properly trained for the Tokyo Games where she has already failed to show any laudable resistance in her opening fixture against a tough Japanese rival the other day.

“When you face a top world class player in any competition then don’t give up and try to stop him or her for an easy victory with your abilities bravely. If you do so, this would be your first step towards future success”  Razi told this correspondent in an interview.

 Mahoor the other day lost to World No 5 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan with the set score of 21-3 and 21-8 in her opening Group L fixture.  

Referring to the men’s singles match between Austria’s Luca Wraber (WR 82) who lost in straight sets (21-12, 21-11) to Danish Viktor Axelsen (WR 4) the other day in Tokyo Razi said his (Luca’s) several points which he grabbed during the contest were laudable.

“This was not seen in Mahoor’s match. Viktor controlled the match with his sturdy professional mental approach as high profile players never take easy their opponents.”

“Pakistani shuttler seemed to be suffering from mental fever against top Japanese shuttler as the total match of 42 points (2 games) finished in just 23 minutes where Mahoor earned total 11 points only. The 23 minutes include the time to pick the shuttle from the court and gave it to the opponent along with official rest time between two games and changing the courts. It indicated that statically a rally between two players could hardly be living less than eight seconds. What is this drastic condition of our player?,” said Razi, who was Pakistan’s coach during the 2010 Dhaka South Asian Games.

Razi added that they cannot blame Mahoor because the federation is responsible for the development of a player which it never did.

“It is greatness of her father who supported her well enough for international tours and met heavy expenses for her daughter to survive at international circuit,” he said.

“Further if PBF had sent her name in 2019 for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 according to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) who had invited all eligible NOCs on 14thOctober 2019 to submit their requests for Tripartite Commission Invitation places regarding gender balance quota then there was much enough time for the PBF to set a suitable training plan for Mahoor which may enable her to compete with fighting spirit in the high prestigious event among top world’s shuttlers. At that time nobody knew about the draws. Later on the Olympics were postponed for a year so she got time to prepare but the authorities were sleeping and Mahoor was happy to be the first badminton Olympian.  Had she got standard training during the mentioned period it would have been productive for her forthcoming international tournaments. It was all ill-planned,” Razi added.

“Today Wajid Ali, the secretary PBF, toured Tokyo just because of Mahoor. His visit to Japan being her coach is also a question mark as he never been a qualified personality in this field. Although he was a good player and a member of badminton team under my coaching and training for the 11thSouth Asian Games Bangladesh 2010 therefore I know his playing abilities but he has no skills as a coach to handle a player effectively during a match and especially when she or he plays against top opponent,” he said.

“Olympics is the prestigious event where best athletes from all over the world can be seen in action representing their countries. A nation can’t afford any insult each time. Keeping in view the overall performance of Pakistani contingent in the Tokyo Olympics the sportsman Prime Minister Imran Khan should overhaul the national sports federations,” Razi said.

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