New Delhi, March 2: Malaysia's Tan Kim Her has stepped down from his post as India's doubles badminton coach, citing personal reasons.
The 47-year-old put down his papers one-and-a-half years before his contract with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) was to end after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "Yes, Tan Kim Her has resigned as doubles coach. He had put down his papers about a month back. He had some family problems," BAI secretary (events) Omar Rashid told PTI.
Tan Kim Her has earlier coached England, South Korea and Malaysia and there are speculations that he might have received some lucrative offer from another country. While Rashid denied there is any truth in such speculations, India's doubles player Chirag Shetty said the Malaysian is set to join Nippon Badminton Association, the governing body of Japan.
"Tan Kim Her left India yesterday and he will be joining the Japan national team," Chirag said.
It was under Tan Kim Her that Chirag and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy emerged as India's premier men’s doubles pair, who won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and also helped the country win the mixed team gold for the first time. The Indian duo won the Hyderabad Open Super 100 event and also reached the finals at Syed Modi Super 300 tournament and are currently ranked 20th in the world.
The women's pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also have done well under the Malaysian's guidance, claiming the bronze medal at the Gold Coast event. "I came to know about his resignation a 2-3 weeks back, he told us that he is leaving. It was a big news for us," said Satwiksairaj, who is nursing a shoulder injury.
"He had a huge influence on us. It is an Olympic year but thankfully a new coach is coming, so we need to talk to him and see how his game suit us. We will get to see a different kind of approach now. So some small things will change but it won't make much difference because our game is mostly attacking and we just need someone to guide us," he added.
The onus of guiding the Indian doubles pairs will now rest on two new doubles coaches -- Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto -- both from Indonesia, who were also hired by the BAI. Chirag felt it will help them as Limpele will see their game in a new light.
"Tan Kim Her leaving is a setback for us in a way as we have achieved a lot under him but with the new Indonesian coach coming in, I think it will help us as he will see our game in a new perspective," he said.
"He is coming today. He has got great credentials and it might take some time to adjust to his method of training but I am hoping we will be benefited like we saw in the case of Mulyo Handoyo, who came and suddenly we won so many titles in 2017."
Last year, India's singles coach Mulyo Handoyo of Indonesia, who was appointed in early 2017, also didn't complete his contract and left abruptly citing personal reasons. He was widely credited for the rise of India's men's singles players with Kidambi Srikanth winning four titles and B Sai Praneeth also claiming his maiden Super Series crown in Singapore.
BAI has recently roped in two Korean coaches Kim Ji Hyun and Park Tae Sang to help the women's singles and men's singles players and the Indian team is awaiting the duo's arrival.