|July 29, 1999||
Park Joo Bong to coach Malaysia
England's famous doubles coach, Park Joo Bong of South Korea is heading for Malaysia to take up what is being called the most lucrative coaching position in badminton history.
Park will start his new job with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on October 1. He has been contracted for a period of two years, with an option to extend that for another two.
Although the news did not come as a shock to England's players or administration - Park had informed them he had been approached by BAM almost three months ago - his departure must surely have caused a few headaches for the world's top players.
Park's coaching has clearly been a factor in the rise in doubles in the England camp - two medals at the World Championships and talk of Olympic prospects are testament to that.
What effect then has this had on the players he will leave behind?
British Olympic team manager, Lars Sologub acknowledges that the timing may not have been ideal, but says that the players are both professional and psychologically strong enough to weather the storm.
"The main task is to not make a big issue of this. We have found a good solution which the players are satisfied with. They can now believe 100 per cent in their Olympic preparation."
Sologub even manages to find a positive side to Park's departure. "In football, coaches are being bought every day for huge sums of money, if this is the start of something similar in badminton then that can only be positive," she says.
Mail Sports Editor
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