By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have poured cold water on parties to fete Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, who have gained celebrity and national heroes status in just a short period as a pair.
National chief coach Yap Kim Hock said yesterday that the duo would resume training at the Gymnasium II in Bukit Jalil today and no more appointments could be made with them.
There were appointments made last week to fete the players. There will be one or two more functions for them this week, he said.
That is enough. The BAM have decided not to entertain requests made this week for them. The celebrations must end. It is time for them to get back into shape again for upcoming tournaments.
Kim Hock added that doubles coach Rexy Mainaky would decide on the duos participation in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) scheduled for April 10-15 in Johor Baru based on their condition in training.
They have reached the world number 10 spot and have secured their place in the World Championships (Aug 13-19 in Bukit Jalil). They can afford to skip the ABC and get ready for the Singapore and Indonesian Opens. Rexy will make a decision on this, he said.
The ABC is the last tournament before the qualifiers for the world meet are finalised based on the May 3 world rankings.
However, seedings for the world championships will be based on the Aug 2 world rankings and the duo have a chance to get among the top eight with good results in the Singapore Open (May 1-6) and Indonesian Open (May 7-13).
Since forging a partnership last October for the Japan Open and finishing as the runners-up, Kien Keat-Boon Heong have gone on to win four titles in the next five tournaments.
They won the first Asian Games gold medal for Malaysia in 36 years in Doha last December and followed it up with victory in the first round of the inaugural Super Series, the Malaysian Open in January. They returned home as champions from the prestigious All-England in Birmingham and the Swiss Open in Basel recently.
Their success in the All-England was the first for Malaysia in mens doubles after 25 years.
(source: The Star Online)