With the Badminton Association of India (BAI) roping in top doubles coach Tan Kim Her of Malaysia, India’s chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Saturday said the Malaysian will bring in a lot of experience and knowledge and he wants him to ensure maximum qualification for the Olympics Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, next year.
BAI has confirmed the services of Tan Kim, who will be joining the Indian team by the end of September to work with the top doubles players.
Asked about his plans with Kim, Gopichand said: “I want Kim to work on two levels. Firstly to ensure that we have maximum qualification for the Rio Olympics. Generally, in the Olympic year our players need to play so many tournaments, so it is sometimes difficult to get a longer pocket to train.
“So the idea is to sharpen the skills of these players whether it is Jwala [Gutta]-Ashwini [Ponnappa], Sikki [Reddy]-Pradnya [Gadre], Manu [Attri]-Sumeeth [Reddy], Akshay [Dewalkar]-Pranaav [Chopra] and try and get as many qualification as possible because it is still early part of the qualification and it is still a long way to go.
“Also look at the young juniors and see how can we shape them up. He comes with a lot of experience with his stints at Korea, Malaysia. He definitely brings to the table a lot of knowledge and share his vision and I want him to help with those ideas.”
According to BAI, Tan Kim will be holding the national camp for doubles at a separate training venue in Hyderabad and not at the Pullela Gopichand Academy.
Asked where he plans to hold the training for doubles, Gopichand said: “I have two academies now. I have a nine court badminton which is near by the current academy at Gachibowli. In a couple of months time, we will have its inauguration and it will be operation. So the plan is to have him training at that academy so that there is no more confusion or questions.”
World No. 12 doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who have been training separately, had expressed reservations about training at the Gopichand academy.