Thien How gets third chance with senior partner


KUALA LUMPUR: Doubles shuttler Hoon Thien How has received a third shot to make good with a senior partner.

And he is bent on giving a high-level performance with Lin Woon Fui in their second tournament to­­gether at the Asian Badminton Cham­pionships (ABC), which will begin tomorrow at Suwon, South Korea.

The stocky Thien How had partnered two other seasoned campaigners — Chan Chong Ming and Ong Soon Hock — over the last two years.

And his best results were winning one local and one international tournament with Chong Ming — at the 2006 Kuala Lumpur Open and 2007 New Zealand Open.

Before pairing up with the seniors, Thien How dominated the junior scene with Tan Boon Heong and they were world junior champions in 2004.

The 23-year-old Thien How said that his goal was to win a major title with Woon Fui this year.

“It is not easy to work with a new partner but I am fortunate that my partnership with Woon Fui has worked well from the start,” he said.

“Woon Fui may not have won a major title as a senior player. But he complements well with me and hopefully, we can nail a big one this year. It will be a great boost for both of us.”

In their first tournament at the India Open recently, the duo went down to Indonesians Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan in the quarter-finals.

“I can adapt well with the senior players. They are experienced and after a while, I am able to follow their pace. I had some good results with Chong Ming and Soon Hock but unfortunately, my partnership with them did not last long,” said Thien How.

Although he did not win a title with Soon Hock, the duo did make heads turn when they beat Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen of Denmark and Japanese Shintaro Ikeda-Shuichi Sakamoto en route to a semi-final finish in the Indonesian Open last year.

In the ABC, Thien How-Woon Fui are the fifth seeds and they are in the same half of the draw as top seeds and Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Shin Baek-cheol and compatriots Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong.

“We will play the Koreans (Yong-dae-Baek-cheol) in the opening round. It will be tough … they did well to reach the All-England semi-final,” said Thien How.

The other Malaysian pair in the fray are seventh seeds Ong Soon Hock-Khoo Chung Chiat, who have an opening match against second seeded Japanese Shintaro Ikeda-Shuichi Sakamoto.


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