Singapore badminton chief: No medal targets for Olympic team

The players have been told to "uphold the ideals of Singapore" while in London (photo courtesy of SBA)The players have been told to "uphold the ideals of Singapore" while in London (photo courtesy of SBA)

Singapore Badminton Association's chief Bobby Lee has refused to be drawn into setting a medal target for Singapore's Olympic-bound medal team.

For the four players who've earned their tickets to London, he had a simple message for them: "Good luck, play hard, enjoy the game. We're all supporting you."

But Lee's laissez-faire approach to his players does not mean the four players -- Derek Wong (men's singles), Gu Juan (women's singles) and the women's doubles pair of Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari -- are taking things easy ahead of the Games.

Lee told Yahoo! Singapore, "All four Olympians have worked very hard and sacrificed a lot throughout the qualification period to get to the Olympics. They know that it is an honour and a privilege to represent Singapore."

Lee said he did not want to follow the lead of his counterparts at the table tennis association -- who are gunning for two medals at the Games -- and set specific targets for his charges.

"We have told them that representing Singapore at the Olympics is more than winning medals. It is also about being an ambassador of the country at the Games. They will need to uphold the ideals of Singapore and the Games when they are in London" he explained.

Lee is confident that the players will be able to do just that, believing "they will give a very good account of themselves at the Games".

He also urged them to make full use of "this privileged experience for a sportsman".

The players trained in Taiwan and Japan as part of their preparations (photo courtesy of SBA)The players trained in Taiwan and Japan as part of their preparations (photo courtesy of SBA)

The badminton chief is also grateful for the support shown to the players, noting that overseas training stints in Taiwan and Japan was possible only through the help of the SNOC, the Singapore Sports Council, and other corporate sponsors.

"We have also invested more funds into nutritional, psychological and physiological preparation for the players," Lee let on.

To detractors who are reluctant to cheer for Gu, Shinta and Yao -- who are among the naturalised citizens chosen to represent the country -- Lee's message is unequivocal.

"I would like to ask Singaporeans to suspend their judgment, to understand the players' backgrounds better and to appreciate the work that they have done and will continue to do for Singapore, if we give them our whole-hearted support."

The hard work of naturalised citizens like Gu Juan should be appreciated, Lee says (photo courtesy of SBA)The hard work of naturalised citizens like Gu Juan should be appreciated, Lee says (photo courtesy of SBA)

The greatest sporting spectacle in the world is set to kick off in London on 27 July.

Pending the final approval from the Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore will be represented at the 18-day Games in London by 21 athletes in seven sports including table tennis, swimming and badminton.