AARHUS (Bernama): National women’s singles shuttler S. Kisona (pic) has admitted that the insensitive racist comment made against her on social media during the recent Sudirman Cup competition affected her psychologically and her performance.

However, the 23-year-old Seremban born is determined to put that incident behind her and focus on the Uber Cup opening round match against hosts Denmark on Saturday (Oct 9) as she will take on the role of first singles for Malaysia.

“Obviously (it affected me) because, in the end, I am human too… Somehow, I need to shift my focus to my coming match. So, I’ll leave it to my family, BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) and the relevant authorities to resolve the issue,” she said after the team’s second official training session at the Ceres Arena here on Friday (Oct 8).

Asked regarding the same issue by another media moments later, Kisona burst into tears.

Meanwhile, talking about Saturday’s match, when she is likely to take on world number 12 Mia Blichfeldt, world number 53 Kisona said she and her teammates are ready to fight till the end despite having to face higher-ranked opponents.

“This will be my second Uber Cup campaign after the 2018 Bangkok edition, so far I am comfortable with the venue and the weather (despite it dipping below 10 degrees Celcius at times). Of course, I want to play better than I did at the Sudirman Cup and I don’t want to play down my chances although my opponent is better.

“I feel that our Uber Cup squad have our own strengths, we just lack experience. We will give it our best and fight for victory. We are not here to lose,” she said.

The racist comment made against Kisona on social media was made by a politician after her tame defeat by world number five Akane Yamaguchi during the Malaysia-Japan Sudirman Cup semi-final clash on Oct 2.

Meanwhile, BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann said BAM, her teammates and the whole nation are behind Kisona and will continue to provide her with moral support.

“I believe there will always be unfortunate incidents like this in everyone’s life but I believe Kisona, as a professional athlete, can overcome it and learn from it,” he said.

BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the case was very much an isolated one because, in general, Malaysians appreciate the sacrifices and contributions of national athletes for the country.

“I think sensitive and racial issues like this should never happen at all in our country’s sports under the concept of Malaysian Family. We should be more appreciative of their efforts as they continue to boldly face challenges despite playing in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.- Bernama



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