BUKIT JALIL: Former Olympic Games silver medallist Yap Kim Hock wants a chance to become the national coach once again – to find a remedy for the ailing men’s doubles department.
Kim Hock, who was chief coach from 2004-2008, said on Thursday that he had submitted an official job application letter to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last week and is awaiting a reply.
The 43-year-old Kim Hock’s genuine interest to revive the fortunes of Malaysia’s doubles pairs could not have been more timely, judging by their poor outing in the ongoing Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Except for national No. 3 pair Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, none made it past the opening round of the home tournament. The country’s top two pairs – Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong – went down tamely to Chai Biao-Hong Wei of China and Chris Langridge-Peter Mills of England respectively.
BAM are currently facing a shortage of coaches as well, with only Pang Cheh Chang and Tan Kim Her managing 24 players. Kim Her, who is an assessor with BAM, also has to juggle his coaching duties with administrative work.
Kim Hock, who won a silver medal with Cheah Soon Kit at the 1996 Atlanta Games, said that Malaysia have the talent in doubles “but did not fully capitalise on them”.
He should know because, when he was with the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), he produced three world junior champions – Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han (2009), Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng (2010) and Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi (2011).
However, none of them managed to take their game to a higher level in the national team and none of these partnerships have been maintained.
“It is sad to see the state of the men’s doubles. We are not ‘stable’ at the highest level,” said Kim Hock, who was demoted from his post as chief coach to coaching BJSS in 2008 after the Beijing Olympic Games.
“I’m confident that I can help to strengthen the team.
“I can work with both Pang and Kim Her ... that’s not an issue. I believe I can solve the men’s doubles woes.”
Kim Hock currently conducts coaching classes and runs training programmes for schools at his new centre – YKH Academy – in Pandamaran, Klang.