KUALA LUMPUR: Jeremy Gan has been named as Japan’s mixed doubles coach and his task is to produce winners at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
He will start work next January and his last day with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is next Wednesday.
The 38-year-old Jeremy, whose appointment was announced by Japan BA head coach Park Joo-bong yesterday, is excited to begin his new coaching adventure in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“Japan has grown into a strong badminton nation and I’m happy to be part of it now,” said Jeremy, who was honoured that Joo-bong has given him the privilege to be a coach with him.
“Coach Park is a legend. I’m sure I’ll learn much from him. This stint will help enhance my coaching knowledge. I see this as an opportunity to improve my credentials as a coach.
“Japan has good players in all events, except mixed doubles. I’m honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility of changing their mixed doubles fortunes.”
Jeremy quit the national team last month after serving for 15 years as both a junior and senior coach. He started out as a coach with the Bukit Jalil Sports School in 2002.
Jeremy’s role became more prominent when he was tasked with setting up a full-time mixed doubles department in 2008 following the good results of the juniors in 2007.
Malaysia produced Asian junior champions in Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei (in Kuala Lumpur, 2007) and world junior champions Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin (Auckland, New Zealand in 2007).
Jeremy’s hard work over the years to lift the profile of mixed doubles saw the rise of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Aware of Jeremy’s ability to turn things around from scratch, BAM promoted him as the men’s doubles coach in 2014 – a time when there wasn’t even one established pair following the exodus of several good players such as Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong, Hoon Thien How and Khim Wah.
Jeremy paired up Goh V Shem with Wee Kiong in 2014 and they went on to win a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
V Shem-Wee Kiong also won the Denmark Open in Odense and the World Superseries Finals in Dubai last year, which saw them being ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time.
Asked if he was leaving because of BAM’s decision to split up the V Shem-Wee Kiong partnership, Jeremy said: “I’m leaving BAM with a heavy heart as I’ve learnt much. The national body have given me a platform to be a good coach and I wouldn’t be here if not for them. I’ll always be grateful.”
He is the third Malaysian badminton coach to be under the payroll of a foreign country.
The other two Malaysians abroad are Tan Kim Her (doubles coach in India) and Wong Tat Meng (coaching director in Scotland).