NAGPUR: Tan Kim Her, the specialist doubles coach from Malaysia after guiding players of several countries has signed a five-year contract with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and is now working with several bunch of players for the last three months at the Hyderabad-based Pullela Gopichand Academy.
“I accepted to sign the BAI contract after a long and deep thought. It is quite challenging and I am game for it. In India, there is more focus on the singles. Unlike Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and China, doubles do not get equal importance in India. I have a big task to change that. I need time for this but I am sure by the time my contract expires after five years, India will be a force to reckon with in doubles too just like singles,” said Kim.
“I found lot of young talent in India particularly in the boys section. The present lot of seniors, I can train and improve them but I can’t make them champions now. The younger unit is quite promising. I’m putting my money on them. In one or two years, these youngsters will definitely challenge the seniors. MR Arjun, Satwikraj Krishna, Chirag Shetty and Kuhoo Garg are some of the youngsters I’m very impressed with,” said Kim
“If not this Rio Olympics, next Olympics in Tokyo 2020, I’m sure our players will be in medal contention in all the three doubles events. Youngsters are willing to work hard and ready to go the distance. There are not many top mixed doubles pairs in India in the world rankings. Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan are good and I will try to improve them,” he said.
Chief national coach Gopichand is pleased to have Kim on board. “I am pretty confident that Kim will bring in a revolution. He is an experienced campaigner, having travelled all over the world. He is the right man to do the job for us. I have given him a free hand as far as coaching of doubles players is concerned. Soon he will operate independently at my new academy, which is a couple of kilometres from the present academy. All the Indian doubles players will train at the new academy under Kim,” said Gopichand.
Kim’s future plans would be to focus on Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy and Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa for Rio Olympics, changing on partners on Trial and Erroe basis for better results, has requested BAI to send maximum pairs for various tournaments at the International level as International exposure is a must for talented junior players. And the last, not the least to target medals in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.