NATIONAL doubles head coach Tan Kim Her has made it clear to all the coaches in the doubles department that the main focus this year should be the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships in August. Kim Her, when met after the coaches meeting at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara, that main coaches – Rosman Razak (women’s doubles) and Jeremy Gan (mixed doubles) would be focusing on the top pairs to ensure they qualify for the World Championships.
“For now, we only have Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong for the men’s doubles and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying for the mixed doubles. “They are the only ones in the top 20, and to qualify for the World Championships, you need to be in the top 24,” he said, stressing that development of the back-up and junior shuttlers would be left to the assistant coaches – Chin Eei Hui and Chong Kien Ling. He added that the only worry now was top women’s pair Vivian Hoo Kah Mun-Woon Khe Wei as they were not sure how long it would take for Khe Wei to fully recover from her left ankle injury.
“The deadline for the World Championships is in April, immediately after the India Open Superseries. “Vivian and Khe Wei are currently ranked 24, but after pulling out of the Korea Open Superseries, it looks doubtful that they will compete in the (Maybank) Malaysia Open Superseries as well. “Lim Yin Loo-Liu Ying are the next best pair and they are currently ranked 26, so we have to push them to move up the rankings.”
With the departure of former doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang, who is now head of the national junior team, Kim Her said a foreign coach would be roped in for the doubles. “BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) will be hiring a foreign coach to help with the men’s doubles.
“For now, I don’t know when and who,” he said. Kien Keat and Boon Heong are currently our best men’s pair and ranked world No. 2, while Thien How and Wee Kiong are ranked 10th. In the mixed doubles, Peng Soon and Liu Ying are ranked third in the world.
The 2013 BWF calendar will begin with the Korea Open Superseries Premier from Jan 8-13 followed by the Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries from Jan 15-20.
The local tournaments will begin with the 100PLUS National Junior Circuit in February, followed by the Maybank National Circuit in March.