Kuala Lumpur: Tan Boon Heong is looking forward to reunite with Koo Kien Keat for one last shot at the World Championships in Copenhagen on August 25-31.
The former world number one pair’s performance has been sluggish since 2008 after they lost in the first round of All England. Malaysia’s former men’s doubles coach, Rexy Mainaky even lashed out at the duo, especially the party-loving Koo, who he described in local media as being “big headed and non-committal”. Things started to really falling apart for the duo in 2010 when they only managed to win silver at the 2010 BWF World Championships and at the 2010 Asian Games. Followed by a series of failures since 2010, they were officially grounded after losing to China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei in the opening round of Malaysian Open in January 2014.
Koo Kien Keat eventually decided to resign from the Malaysia national squad in February 2014, looking to continue his badminton career by joining Thailand’s Granular professional badminton club.
The pair was ranked world number 24th before the May 9 cut-off date set by Badminton World Federation (BWF), which allowed them to qualify for the world meet on merit. After Badminton Association of Malaysia’s confirmation, they will be making their 7th consecutive appearance in the tournament.
“We definitely want to end our partnership on a winning tone. However, we haven’t play together for a while, therefore, I am not going set our expectations too high,” said Boon Heong.
“Kien Keat is busy with his commitment at Thailand, we will start training together probably 10 days before the world championships starts,” added Boon Heong.
Two other Malaysian men’s doubles qualifiers for the World Championships are Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah.