Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing falter in Malaysia Masters finals

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Tan Kian Meng, Lai Pei Jing, Li Yinhui, Zheng Siwei (from left) pose for pictures at the awards ceremony. (photo: Bernama)

Georgetown: After a steady first set against their Indonesian counterparts – Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Malaysia’s professional men’s doubles pair – Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong let their Malaysia Masters title slipped away by losing to the Indonesians 21-18, 13-21, 18-21 in a 3 set thriller.Tan Kian Meng, Lai Pei Jing, Li Yinhui, Zheng Siwei (from left) pose for pictures at the awards ceremony. (photo: Bernama)

Despite the loss, Koo/Tan’s final appearance allowed the former world number one men’s doubles to stay on track in their hunt for the Rio Olympic qualification. Currently, they are facing fierce competition with another Malaysia men’s doubles pair, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong who were eliminated in the quarter-finals on Thursday. Koo/Tan were the champions at the same tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

In mixed doubles, Malaysian mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing went down to the scratch pair from China Zheng Siwei/Li Yinhui 21-14, 21-19 in the Malaysia Masters final.

Tan/Lai put up strong resistance in the second set and were able to level the score at 19-19 after trailing with 15-19. However, the Chinese pair who teamed up one week prior to the tournament, ultimately proved too strong for the Malaysians by clinching their first ever major title in the 34-minute mixed doubles final.

Tan Kian Meng admitted he let pressure got to him at the critical moment during the final.

“We need to play more tournaments and learn how to withstand pressure, because I want to avoid losing in the final again,” said the 1.85 meter tall Tan Kian Meng.

Meanwhile, women’s doubles top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan able to live up to expectations by defeating sixth seeds Tang Yuanting/ Yu Yang of China 21-18, 22-20 in the final.

Winners for the doubles events took home US$9,480 (RM39, 816) and while the runners-up earned US$4,560 (RM19, 152).

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