PANDAMARAN: Malaysia have not reached the men’s doubles final in the Olympic Games since Yap Kim Hock-Cheah Soon Kit won the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games – a good 17 years ago.
And Kim Hock feels that Malaysia’s men’s doubles will continue to hit a brick wall if the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) continue to chop and change their coaches frequently.
He hopes that their latest catch – Indonesian Paulus Firman, who started work on Feb 1 – would be given enough time and ample support to work with the players.
“Stop changing the coaches and their roles in the national men’s doubles set-up regularly. Give the coaches the time to work with the players. By changing coaches regularly, they are not being fair to the players. Imagine the number of times that the players have to adjust to the changes,” said Kim Hock.
The 42-year-old Kim Hock’s heart also went out for Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.
“They were under Rexy Mainaky for some time. After that, they were moved around under three other coaches – Pang Cheh Chang, Yoo Yong-sung and Tan Kim Her – for short stints. Let’s hope that Paulus will be given a longer mandate to work with this pair.
“Usually, a coach needs two years to groom a pair ... one cannot expect immediate results,” said Kim Hock after officially launching his new training centre – YKH Academy – in Pandamaran, Klang.
He has signed a partnership with the nearby Kampung Idaman Primary School and is currently coaching 50 students aged between 7 and 12 years old every Saturday.
Kim Hock, who was a coach with BAM for 12 years until 2012, hoped that Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s fortunes would change under Paulus.
Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the other pairs under the Indonesian’s care are Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Tan Wee Gieen-Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid.
All the other pairs, especially the three promising ones – Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han and Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi – are training under chief coach Tan Kim Her.
“I’ve worked with some of these boys when I was the coach at Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) ... they are a talented group. Most of them have won world junior titles and all they need now is a proper guidance to facilitate their transition from juniors to seniors,” he said.
Under Kim Hock, Malaysia produced three straight world junior champions – Kah Ming-Yao Han (2009), Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng (2010) and Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi (2011).
“This batches should be groomed for gold medals at the 2020 Olympic Games. The others like Koo-Tan, Khim Wah-V Shem and Thien How-Wee Kiong should be aiming for medals at the 2016 Games in Rio.
“I always believe that there should be healthy rivalry between the seniors and juniors. It’ll keep the seniors on their toes and speed up the progress of the younger pairs.
“Hopefully, one of the pairs will do better than me (and Soon Kit) at the Olympic Games. That’ll be a proud day for me – and the nation.”