Mumbai: With a little more than a year left for the Rio Olympics, the Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) demand to hire a specialist doubles coach has been granted by the India sports ministry.
Malaysian Tan Kim Her has been roped in by the BAI till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will be on a salary of between $7,500 and $8,000 per month, according to Indian media.
“Tan Kim Her is a respected name in world badminton, especially in doubles discipline. He has been the chief doubles coach of England, South Korean and Malaysian teams. BAI believes he is the best person to take the Indian badminton in doubles event forward. He has been offered contract for five years, which means it will run till the 2020 Tokyo Games,” BAI vice-president TPS Puri was quoted as saying in the report.
Meanwhile, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa – India’s top hope for a medal in Rio, will continue to be left out of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) despite their repeated requests at wanting to be part of it. The pair recently won the women’s doubles title at the Canada Open but will not get a slice off the Rs 30 crore allotted to badminton by the ministry. In fact, not a single badminton doubles player is part of the scheme.
Gutta has been particularly vocal about being left out, recently saying that if the pair was treated just like the singles players, they could win a medal next year.
Puri also told the newspaper that there will be no change to the ministry’s decision.
Tan Kim Her was recently in the news for introducing night sessions in Malaysia to speed up the progress of young players and get them ready for the new 11×5 scoring system.