PETALING JAYA: The 26 year-old Tan Boon Heong, who was once the world No. 1 with Koo Kien Keat (who had quit the national team early this year), has played an integral role in keeping men’s doubles in Malaysia Thomas Cup team to play their game at its highest possible level.
Other doubles players in the team are Hoon Thien How, Lim Khim Wah, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon. Coaches are trying to pair Boon Heong with any of them, to try to trick their opponents if necessary.
”We don’t have a fixed pair in the team right now, the coaches just want us to be ready to partner with anyone. I am fine with this, because I have been paired with different players before.”
”As a veteran player, I also try my best to help these guys understand the game and know what it takes to win.”
”We are communicating to each other in the evenings after training and we talk about things such as we should play like we don’t fear any opponent,” he said.
At the 2010 Thomas Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur, Boon Heong and Kien Keat defeated Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen 21-17, 21-19 in the quarter-final tie against Denmark. Malaysia ended up winning that quarter final match 3-2; However, Malaysia eventually lost to China in the semi-final 3-0, where Boon Heong and Kien Kean faltered 21-15, 21-10 to Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng.
This year, Malaysia is drawn in Group C with South Korea, Germany and India.
According to Malaysia’s team coach, Rashid Sidek, Malaysia will try to come up top in Group C and will play one game a time at the knock out stage.