Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) welcomed its new national mens’ doubles coach today and although he may not be considered a newbie with BAM as he has been a coach here before, Cheah Soon Kit has taken a different step this time being in charge of the mens’ doubles for the first time instead of the women’s team which he coached between 2001 to 2007.
Today was his first day with BAM and at the moment, he is monitoring the players’ training until the 2016 team is finalized in two weeks. As mentioned during the Coaching and Training (C&T) committee meeting held last month, a selection will take place from the 13th -16th December to determine the new squad. Moreover, there will be some national players leaving BAM this month. When asked Soon Kit on how he felt returning to BAM, he said that it will be a challenge for him.
“We should have more players from BAM that are equally good to avoid having a big gap in terms of the level of playing. Currently, only V Shem/ Wee Kiong are in the top 20 and I would like to see more young players step up. This is because I felt that during my playing days, we always had a few upcoming doubles pair replacing the older ones and that is usually the tradition in the doubles department. Hence, through my experiences and skills, I want the players to emulate this feat and continue the tradition,” said Soon Kit at Juara Stadium.
Soon Kit is also known to be among Malaysia’s best doubles player especially during his partnership with Ong Beng Tiong, Soo Beng Kiang and Yap Kim Hock. Being one of the key players that delivered the crucial and winning point for Malaysia at the 1992 Thomas Cup finals, Soon Kit has also brought glory to the country when he clinched the silver medal at the 1996 Olympics Games, 1993 and 1997 World Championships.
During his seven year tenure with BAM, he became the national womens’ doubles coach where he groomed one of Malaysia’s most successful womens’ doubles pair, Chin Eei Hui/ Wong Pei Thy to achieve remarkable results and boost the future of womens’ doubles in the country. The pair have since won the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, qualified for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and have also reached a career high of No. 1 in the world rankings.