Rexy Mainaky signed a two-year deal with the Philippines Badminton Association in April to become its coaching director.
“The Philippines Association is very serious [about developing badminton],” Rexy said. “That’s why I accepted their offer.
“They have a long-term plan to send their shuttlers to the 2016 Olympics, but the immediate target is to win a gold medal in the 2013 [Southeast Asian] Games. I’ve been given a budget of 30 million pesos [$700,000] to revamp the sport there.”
The 1995 world champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist — both in men’s doubles with partner Ricky Subagja — is regarded as one of the best coaches in the world.
He helped the sport flourish in England while coaching there from 2000 to 2005.
He then moved to Malaysia and coached the men’s doubles team of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong to the top of the world. Koo and Tan won the 2006 Asian Games gold medal in Doha and the 2007 All England title.
His decision to take the job in the Philippines seemed odd considering the boxing- and basketball-mad country did not have a history of badminton.
There are now 20 shuttlers on the national team and none are in the top 100 of the world rankings.
“I took the Philippines’ offer because they are dead serious about their development program,” said the 44-year-old coach, who turned down offers from Russia, England and Indonesia. “They gave me the freedom to build my program. It will be tough, but I’m ready for the challenge.”