KUALA LUMPUR: National coach Moe Chin Kiat (pic) was one of the happiest men when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to include badminton in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
But his joy was short-lived. The IPC decided on Sept 5 to drop the men’s doubles event.
And the 80-year-old, fondly known as Ciku, wants the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to lodge a protest with the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
He hopes the BWF will then convey their displeasure to the IPC.
“I’ve waited so long for badminton to be included in the Paralympics,” said Chin Kiat, who gave up a lucrative job as the national and Selangor coach to focus on para athletes in 1989.
“How can they drop just the men’s doubles? It’s one of the events that is enjoyed most by the para athletes. It’s fun and they are able to support one another on court despite their disabilities.
“It’s like omitting the men’s doubles from the Olympic Games programme. Imagine how that would be like?
“We have a few good pairs. It will be a waste to drop the event. We’ll appeal for the men’s doubles to be included.”
The IPC have agreed to host 14 badminton events under six different classes.
There are seven men’s events – singles (WH1, WH2, SL3, SL4, SU5 and SS6) and doubles WH. There will also be six women’s events – singles (WH1, WH2, SL4, SU5) and doubles (WH, SL/SU) as well as mixed doubles (SL/SU).
Chin Kiat intends to use the Asean Para Games, from Sept 17-23, as a first platform to identify his team for the Tokyo Paralympics.
“I have 26 shuttlers in the team and we’ll start identifying players for the Paralympics. I’m happy with the team’s preparation,” he said.
Out of the 26, four – Bakri Omar, Cheah Liek Hou, Madzlan Saibon and Hairul Fozi Saaba – are under Podium Programme.
Liek Hou and Hairul did the country proud by winning the men’s doubles title at the 2015 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Stoke, England, and are seen as medal prospects at the Asean Para Games.