SEPANG: Doubles player Tan Boon Heong can consider himself lucky as he was the only one who returned home with his luggage by his side last night.
The rest of the nine-member strong badminton team reached home without their luggage, which went missing while on transit in Singapore.
Having ended their 17-month Super Series drought by reclaiming the Swiss Open title on Sunday, Boon Heong is hoping Lady Luck will shine on him and his partner Koo Kien Keat as they look towards the world championships in Hyderabad from Aug 10-16.
The Malaysian second seeds set aside their disappointing quarter-final exit at the preceding All-England by sending Danes Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen packing 21-14, 21-18 in the Swiss Open final.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong had lost to the Danes at the All-England. Making it sweeter was the fact that they toppled All-England champions Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun 23-21, 18-21, 2-14 in the semi-finals a day earlier.
The last time the Malaysian pair bagged a Super Series title was at the Denmark Open in October 2007.
When Kien Keat-Boon Heong last won the Swiss Open title two years ago, they were on a hot streak, having ended a 25-year men’s doubles title drought for Malaysia at the All-England a week earlier.
Then, as a newly-formed pair, they took the world by storm, winning gold at the Doha Asian Games in December 2006 before claiming the 2007 season-opening Malaysian Open crown.
However, their fortunes took a turn for the worse when they finished without a medal despite being seeded second at the last world meet in Kuala Lumpur in 2007 and even tumbled out of the top 10 at one point.
So, is this a turning point for the pair to bring their career to greater heights again?
Although they did not do well at the All-England, Boon Heong said they felt good about their win in Basel a week later.
“It has been a long time since we had played and beaten strong opponents.
“After we lost the All-England, expectations were not too high. I think it helps us to play better as we did not feel so tense,” said Boon Heong.
Winning their first title of the year could see Kien Keat-Boon Heong returning to the top four in the world and he believes it will help their bid to make history at the world meet.
“We have a good chance but we do not want to be over-confident. I think our game is quite steady although we did not win any Super Series title until last week.”
After winning the Super Series Masters title in Kota Kinabalu last December, Kien Keat-Boon Heong went on to reach the quarter-finals at the Malaysian Open in January.