Doubles need role models like Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth: Kim TanNovember 13, 2017
NAGPUR: Ever since Tan Kim Her was appointed as the national doubles specialist coach exactly two years ago, there is a noticeable improvement in the performance.
The move by Badminton Association of India (BAI) to hire the services of experienced Malaysian for five years is paying rich dividends as Indian doubles players are making their mark at the international level in the last couple of years.
Kim, who served in England, South Korea and Malaysia earlier, witnessed the matches on the last three days of the Senior National Badminton Championship here to spot the new talent.
“I am happy with the progress our doubles players have made ever since I jouned in September 2015. There were several encouraging results particularly this year the performance was brilliant. But I am not satisfied yet. I want to achieve more in the last three years of my tenure,” said Kim, a reputed coach of the world.
For the first time in Indian badminton history the men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy qualified for the Rio Olympics last year. This year, another pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has been making rapid strides and made it to the quarterfinals of Korea Open and French Open Super Series, which is first for the country.
“The doubles desperately need role model in India. Indians have been doing exceptionally well in singles because of the success of Saina Newhal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. It is a matter of time the doubles will also get the same following in India. This year Satwik-Chirag pair made a breakthrough by reaching quarters. Next year they should play semifinals and in 2019 they should play finals. If there is no injury, Satwik-Chirag will win a medal in 2020 Olympics,” said Kim.
A men’s doubles semifinalist of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Kim is not happy with the standard of women’s doubles in India. He believed after Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikky Reddy, there is big gap. However, the 44-year-old is optimistic about the future of men’s and mixed doubles in India.
“At the start of the year Satwik and Chirag were ranked 69th in the world. Now they are 27th in the world. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy are now ranked 16th in the world after reaching 13th early this month. Sikky and Ashwini had reached 22nd. New pair of Satwik and Ashwini are ranked 87th in the world and has the potential of breaking into top-20 within a year. There is certainly a hope for the future,” said Kim.