Malaysia's Tan Kim Her returned for a second stint as the doubles coach of the Indian badminton team after the Sports Ministry on Friday approved his appointment for a five-year period till the 2026 Asian Games. The 50-year-old, who was India's doubles coach from 2015 to 2019, was tipped to take over the position which was left vacant following the departure of Denmark's 2012 Olympic silver medallist Mathias Boe after the Tokyo Games.
It was reported in December last year that Tan is likely to join the Indian coaching set-up with the Badminton Association of India waiting for an approval from the Ministry. During his first stint, Tan had played a vital role in the rise of Indian doubles players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy as they made breakthroughs on the Tour, besides winning individual silver and team gold at Commonwealth Games in 2018.
"Satwik and I are happy that Tan coach will be back with us. We always look up to him as he paired us together despite our early hesitation because while we were similar, neither of us was confident of playing the front court," Shetty, who is currently ranked World No. 8 with Satwik in men's doubles, said in a release. "Tan coach's conviction helped us reach the level we did. He got us from nowhere to the top 16 by the time he left India. We are thankful to the Badminton Association of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for getting him on board," the 24-year-old added.
Tan had trained Satwik and Chirag to the top 10 in the Badminton World Federation men's doubles ranking and also played a big role in Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy's entry into the top 20 spot in the women's doubles ranking. Besides, six pairs were ranked among the top 50 across different pairs during his first stint. "Coach Tan Kim Her is well aware of the Indian Badminton ecosystem and his inclusion will strengthen the doubles contingent even more. I am glad that BAI and SAI could come together to execute his appointment which will not only help our leading doubles pairs, Chirag (Shetty) and Satwik (Rankireddy) but also help to groom the next in line doubles bench strength." said Ajay K Singhania, General Secretary, BAI.
Tan, who has coached England, South Korea and Malaysia in the past, had resigned as India coach in 2019 citing personal reasons, one and a half years before his contract was to end. He then went on to coach the Japanese men's doubles team to victory in the 2021 World Championships and the mixed doubles team to a silver medal in the World Championships and bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games. After resuming his position, the Malaysian will now "be responsible for putting in place an overall coaching system and plan besides oversee coach education."
"He will identify Indian coaches with potential and assist in their skill development by holding four workshops each year," the ministry said in the release. "This will ensure that the nation will have a number of doubles coaches with the skill sets to take the Indian teams to greater heights in the future." 2022 is an important year for Indian shuttlers with big-ticket events such as the CWG and Asian Games lined-up, besides the World Championships.