New Delhi: The 46-year-old Flandy Limpele, who partnered Eng Hian to win the Olympic men’s doubles bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Games, had stepped down as India’s doubles coach citing family reasons.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) tweeted on Saturday: “Citing family reasons, Indian Doubles Coach, Flandy Limpele has decided to resign from his current position as the doubles coach for the Indian Badminton Team. Limpele has flown back home yesterday (March 7, 2020).”
Limpele, who was hired by BAI to replace Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her last March, played a crucial role in propelling India’s Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy to the World No. 10 ranking.
“I talked to Gopichand last Monday that I would like to resign from my position, but I decided to stay for a while due to the All England and tournaments in Europe but it turns out the European tournaments were cancelled and the Indian players cancelled their trip to All England,” said Limpele.
“I feel like the doubles department didn’t receive equal attention as the singles department. But, that’s just one of the reasons for my resignation. The main reason for leaving the Indian team was personal,” added Limpele.
“I wish all the best to the Indian team,” continued Limpele.
Last December, Limpele criticized that bad attitude of the players and lack of team work has been affecting the growth of doubles in India.
The resignation of Limpele could be a huge setback to the Indian team with little over four months to go before the Tokyo Olympics.
BAI also issued statements on how they would handle the situation after Limpele’s resignation.
“The doubles team is currently being trained in Hyderabad by a team of expert coaches – Namrih Suroto and Dwi Kristiawan (foreign coaches) along with Indian counterparts, Vijay Deep, Pradnya Gadre and Arun Vishnu alongside Chief National Coach, P Gopichand.”
As for the World No. 10 men’s pair – Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy who won the 2019 Thailand Open Super 500 and reached the 2019 French Open Super 750 final, described Limpele’s departure as a shock to them.
“It’s a huge blow to us just right before the Olympics. He messaged us informing that he’s leaving yesterday,” said Shetty.
“We have Dwi (Kristiawan), who has been training us and now I guess Namrih too might help us. Let’s see, how it goes. Can’t help it now.”
Limpele was India’s fourth foreign coach to have resigned without completing the tenure. Previously, Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun, who guided P V Sindhu to India’s first ever world championship gold, left BAI last September. Malaysia’s Tan Kim Her also resigned as India’s doubles early last year, 18 months before his tenure was to end. While Mulyo Handoyo, who had previously worked with the Indonesian badminton team, where he guided superstar shuttler Taufik Hidayat to the men’s singles gold at the 2004 Olympics, resigned abruptly in late 2017 after coaching Kidambi Srikanth to win four Superseries titles in 2017.