PH badminton gets top Indonesian coachBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOPING to finally boost the development of the sport, the Philippine Badminton Association through secretary general, Rep. Albee Benitez, has announced the hiring of an Indonesian former Olympic and world champion and lavished him with an incentive package never before afforded a foreign coach.
Sources said Rexy Mainaky will be getting $12,000 (P504,000) a month on top of accommodation and schooling of his two children at a British School in Manila. The condominium rental alone is reportedly worth between P100,000 to P150,000 a month.
The deal is believed to be one of the biggest the country’s local sports officials given a foreign coach, even surpassing the reported $10,000 monthly salary of Azkals mentor Michael Weiss.
The Philippines had tapped the services of top tier coaches before, including Cuban boxing coach Raul Fernandez Liranza, who reportedly received $3,000 a month as the country’s top foreign mentor way back in the late 1990s.
Mainaky may well be worth it, though, as he mentored the powerhouse Malaysian team for seven years before he announced his resignation to coach the lowly Philippine team which he described as “a new challenge.”
“Russia had offered me even more – about $12,000 a month but I did not take it up. Indonesia and England too have asked me to join them. The Philippines is paying about the same amount offered by Malaysia but I chose them because of the challenge,” he was quoted by www.thestar.com.my.
“I will have the freedom to choose the players and the coaches and draft the program from scratch. They have 20 national shuttlers without any standing in the world and this number is small for a country of 55 million,” he told the website.
The Philippines last won a medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 2003 through siblings Kennevic and Kennie Asuncion in the mixed doubles. In the 1997 SEAG, Kennie and Amparo “Weena” Lim bagged the country’s first badminton medal, a bronze in the women’s doubles.
Lim eventually made it as the first Filipino to qualify to the Olympics in 2000. Mainaky won the men’s doubles gold in the 1996 Atlanta Games with Ricky Subagja. They emerged 1995 IBF world champs in Switzerland, 1995 and 1996 All-England titlists, and 2000 Asian titlists. Mainaky was also part of the Indonesian team that won the Thomas Cup in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.