PETALING JAYA: Two former Malaysian coaches – Tan Kim Her and Wong Tat Meng – will be out to spoil Malaysia’s badminton party at the Commonwealth Games.
Kim Her is India’s men’s doubles coach while Tat Meng is the coaching director with Scotland.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have set a three-gold medal target at the Games from April 4-15.
They have dropped one gold from their initial forecast of four, following a lack of results at the All-England early this month.
Kim Her, who joined the Indian BA in 2015, is banking on world No. 21 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty to end Malaysia’s domination in the men’s doubles at the Games. Satwiksairaj-Chirag gave Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen a good fight in the recent All-England before bowing out in a three-game second-round defeat.
Malaysian men’s doubles have contributed 10 gold medals in the Commonwealth Games since 1966.
The men’s doubles winners are Tan Aik Huang-Yew Cheng Hoe (1966), Ng Boon Bee-Punch Gunalan (1970), Ong Beng Teong-Razif Sidek (1982), Jalani Sidek-Razif (1990), Cheah Soon Kit-Soo Beng Kiang (1994), Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (1998), Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (2002), Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat (2006), Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (2010) and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong.
V Shem-Wee Kiong are in Gold Coast to defend the gold.
“Malaysia are the favourites but we’ll take it one match at a time – my main goal is to help India win their first medal in the men’s doubles,” said Kim Her, whose contract with India runs until 2020.
Before leaving for India, Kim Her was heading the Malaysian men’s doubles department.
Tat Meng’s team will have a better chance in the women’s singles through their most improved player Kirsty Gilmour, the 2014 Glasgow Games silver medallist.
World No. 18 Gilmour’s main challengers in Gold Coast are defending champion Michelle Li of Canada and Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah.
“It has been a year since I joined Scotland and I find my job quite interesting. It’s not coaching alone but overseeing the national team,” said Tat Meng, who was previously Malaysia’s women’s singles coach.
“Scotland won one silver (women’s singles) and one bronze (mixed doubles) and we’ll be out to win medals again.
“Kirsty has improved since coming back from a back injury but she’ll have a tougher challenge this time. I’m looking forward to this Games,” he added.