Malaysia’s Tan Kim Her returns as India’s badminton doubles coach till 2026 Asian Games

The veteran Malaysian coach has been appointed as India’s badminton doubles coach for a five-year term. (Picture: BAI)
The veteran Malaysian coach has been appointed as India’s badminton doubles coach for a five-year term. (Picture: BAI)
Suhas Nayse

The efforts of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) bore fruit as the Sports Ministry approved the appointment of Tan Kim Her as India’s badminton doubles coach on Friday. Malaysia’s Tan Kim Her returns for a second stint as the specialist doubles coach of the Indian badminton team.

The 50-year-old, known worldwide for his expertise in doubles, has won a long contract for a five-year period till the 2026 Asian Games.

Tan, who was India’s doubles coach from 2015 to 2019, was tipped to take over the position which was left vacant following the departure of Mathias Boe in August 2020.

Denmark’s 2012 Olympic silver medalist Mathias Boe did not renew his contract after the completion of the Tokyo Games. Boe guided Indian ace men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty to the last Olympics in Tokyo. Satwik and Chirag did reasonably well by winning two out of three league matches but failed to qualify for the knockouts.

Tan did duty at the Tokyo Olympics as the men’s doubles coach of the Japan national team.

A couple of months ago, it was reported that Tan is likely to join the Indian coaching set-up with the BAI waiting for approval from the sports ministry.

Tan was responsible for the rise of Indian doubles players during his first stint

During Tan’s first stint, he played a vital role in the rise of Indian doubles players, especially Satwiksairaj and Chirag. The Indian doubles pair were given a lot of confidence by the Malaysian's expertise as they made breakthroughs on the Tour.

Satwik and Chirag won individual silver medals and team gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“Satwik and I are happy that he will be back with us. We always looked up to him as he paired us together despite our early hesitation because while we were similar, neither of us was confident of playing on the front court,” said Chirag Shetty, who is currently ranked world No. 8 with Satwik in men’s doubles.

Chirag and Satwik desperately needed a specialist doubles coach after the exit of Boe. The duo even requested BAI to appoint a specialized doubles coach for them as soon as possible.

“The coach’s conviction helped us reach the level we did. He got us from nowhere to the top 16 by the time he left India. We are thankful to the Badminton Association of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for getting him on board,” said the 24-year-old Chirag.

He trained Satwik and Chirag to top 10 in the Badminton World Federation men’s doubles ranking. He also played a major role in Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy’s entry into the top 20 spot in the women’s doubles ranking.

In addition, six pairs were ranked among the top 50 across different pairs during his first stint.

“Coach Tan is well aware of the Indian Badminton ecosystem and his inclusion will strengthen the doubles contingent even more. I am glad that BAI and SAI were able to come together to execute his appointment, which will not only help our leading doubles pair, Chirag and Satwik, but also help to groom the next in-line doubles bench strength,” said Ajay Kumar Singhania, General Secretary, BAI.

Tan, who has coached England, South Korea and Malaysia in the past, resigned as India coach in 2019 citing personal reasons, one and a half years before his contract was to end.

He then went on to coach the Japanese men's doubles team to victory at the 2021 World Championships and the mixed doubles team to a silver medal at the World Championships and bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

After resuming his position, the Malaysian will now "be responsible for putting in place an overall coaching system and plan besides overseeing coach education."

“He will identify Indian coaches with potential and assist in their skill development by holding four workshops each year," the ministry said in the release.
"This will ensure that the nation will have a number of doubles coaches with the skill sets to take the Indian teams to greater heights in the future,” said Singhania.

2022 has been an important year for Indian shuttlers with big-ticket events such as the CWG and Asian Games lined-up, along with the World Championships. Tan’s appointment will surely boost India’s doubles chances in these major events.

Edited by Parimal


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