PETALING JAYA: Wong Tat Meng’s penchant to seek new experiences has taken the Malaysian across five different nations as a coach.
The 55-year-old Tat Meng, who began his globe-trotting habits since 2011, is now with Hong Kong as the men’s singles coach and will be hoping to make an immediate impact in the Malaysian Open starting on Tuesday at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.
His first overseas assignment was to coach the Indonesia women’s singles squad in 2011 but he returned home after two years where he was in charge of the group that included current top national player Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, Soo Teck Zhi and Soong Joo Ven.
“Zii Jia, Cheam, Joo Ven were the last group I coached in Malaysia. Good to see them playing well these days,” said Tat Meng.
The former Thomas Cupper ventured to Scotland after that to guide women’s singles player Kirsty Glimour in 2017 and the stint lasted until 2019. His next destination was South Korea in 2019.
Tat Meng was credited for the rise of An Se-young and South Korea’s win in the Uber Cup Finals last month.
Known for one who relishes challenges, Tat Meng is excited with his new role with Hong Kong.
World No. 13 Angus Ng Ka Long, Lee Cheuk Yiu (15th) and young players Chan Yin Chak and Jason Gunawan have lured Tat Meng to Hong Kong where another Malaysian Choong Tan Fook has been in charge of their doubles department for several years now.
Tat Meng was happy to be back at the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) headquarters in Bukit Kiara where he started his coaching career.
“I came here with the Korean team in 2019 but we trained at the Juara Stadium. This is my first time at the ABM (Academy Badminton Malaysia),” said Tat Meng.
Asked if he would consider a return to the BAM, Tat Meng laughed off the possibility, saying that he had not gotten any offers from them.
It remains to be seen if he will return to Malaysia after fulfilling his current contract in 2024 but it would not be surprising if Tat Meng adds another country to his resume.