Yesterday, national doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her said that Michel Gagne has been appointed to assist the world No. 6 Kien Keat-Boon Heong to help them in their mental preparation.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong are finally getting back into the groove after being down following harsh criticism of their uninspiring performances last year and the presence of Gagne – just six months before the Games – will surely do them a world of good.
The Canadian is a familiar figure in Malaysian sports as he has been here for 22 years. He is currently with the Coaching and Training Asia Sdn Bhd and formerly headed the Sports Psychology and Mental Training Department of the National Sports Institute from 1990 to 2002.
With Gagne’s appointment the cast for Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s support team is complete.
Currently, the other NSI staff in the team are physical trainers, nutritionist, sports code expert, coaches and the high performance squad.
Kim Her said NSI’s director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz had officially introduced Gagne to Kien Keat-Boon Heong on Wednesday.
And Gagne started his work on the duo yesterday.
“I have given him all the details and background of the players.
“It is important that he knows everything about them before he works with them,” said Kim Her.
“He is the expert in this field and we will leave it to him to rebuild the confidence of Kien Keat and Boon Heong.
“I am happy that everyone is doing their part to help the two bounce back at the Olympics,” he said.
Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong, one other player enjoying the same support is back-up shuttler Lim Khim Wah who is a gifted player but lacks confidence.
Meanwhile, Kim Her has given the thumbs up on the doubles team’s preparation for the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament which starts in Macau on Monday.
“All the players are in good spirit and this augurs well for qualifiers.
“What we now need is for the players to produce the desired results,” he added.
Malaysia are vying for one of the four tickets available for the Finals, which will be held in Wuhan, China from May 20-27.