BAM calls Tan Boon Heong to join Malaysian Thomas Cup team

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Tan Boon Heong (left) receives coaching lessons from Indonesia's legendary men's doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi (middle) during his partnership with Hendra Setiawan (right).
Tan Boon Heong (left) receives coaching lessons from Indonesia's legendary men's doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi (middle) during his partnership with Hendra Setiawan (right).

Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian Badminton Association (BAM) has inspired by Indonesia’s move by bringing back their 33-year-old men’s doubles legend Hendra Setiawan when he and Rian Agung Saputro delivered the winning point that allowed Indonesia to beat China 3-1 in the Asia Team Championships final last Sunday.

Following Indonesia’s success, BAM has decided to invite Tan Boon Heong into Malaysia’s Thomas Cup squad to strengthen the men’s doubles department, because BAM was unhappy with the performance of its second men’s doubles pair, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi’s during the Asia meet.

Tan who left BAM in 2015, has partnered Hendra Setiawan for the 2017 season and they have reached World No. 23 at the end of last year.

“V Shem/Wee Kiong are confirmed to be our No. 1 pair, but I am worried about our second doubles,” said BAM’s president Norza Zakaria.

“We have offered Boon Heong a place in the Thomas Cup squad to add more depth to the doubles department,” added Zakaria.

“I’ve asked Soon Kit (Malaysia’s chief men’s doubles coach) to replace the second men’s pair if necessary.”

“We want to be a strong and tough team in May.”

In the Badminton Asia Team Championship held in Alor Setar, Kedah, from February 6- February 11, 2018, Malaysia managed to become a semi-finalist but lost to China 1-3 in the semifinals.

BAM’s honorary secretary Ng Chin Chai told reporters that he hoped Tan, who is currently on vacation, would go back to train with the national team the latest at the end of February. If Tan couldn’t make it at that time, BAM still would like him to join the Malaysian national team early March.

“Boon Heong is a good men’s doubles player. We hope he can join us for the Asia Games, Thomas Cup, and maybe the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Ng.

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