KUALA LUMPUR: Will former doubles shuttler Yap Kim Hock be given a second chance to head the Malaysian badminton team?
Kim Hock, who was once the national team chief coach before being demoted to a doubles coach of the Bukit Jalil Sports School after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, has thrown his hat in the ring for the post of high performance director (HPD).
He will be among five people who will be attending an interview with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) today.
The others are former shuttlers Razif Sidek, Cheah Soon Kit and Kwan Yoke Meng and former Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) administrator Wong Ah Jit, who is now with the National Sports Institute (NSI).
The post of HPD is up for grabs after the BAM exco, headed by Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, decided to discontinue Datuk James Selvaraj’s part-time appointment.
They wanted the former Thomas Cupper to take up the role full time but James could not because of his commitment with Bata, where he is the senior manager.
Kim Hock’s interest in taking over the HPD post will surely generate mixed response.
The stocky shuttler, who won a silver medal with Soon Kit at the 1996 Atlanta Games, was tasked with charting the future of Malaysian badminton when he was appointed as chief coach from 2004-2008.
Although Malaysia won one silver through top men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the failure of the men’s doubles shuttlers resulted in him being relegated to coaching the BJSS.
Kim Hock continued to work hard as coach of the BJSS, grooming several doubles pairs of calibre.
In fact, he has produced world junior champions in the last three years – Ow Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming, Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng and Teo Ee Yi-Nelson Heg Wei Keat.
Kim Hock is certainly a worthy candidate, but so too are Razif, Yoke Meng, Soon Kit and Ah Jit.
It’s going to be tough for BAM to pick the right man for the job but at least they are spoilt for choice.