Kuala Lumpur: With the former World No. 1 men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat/ Tan Boon Heong a.k.a “Diamond pair” of Malaysia winding down their 10 years partnership, Tan Boon Heong is starting a new chapter of his badminton career by teaming up with his rival, good friend and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist Hendra Setiawan beginning of 2017.
Tan Boon Heong posted a message on Facebook page confirming the new partnership on Wednesday.
“Good morning everyone ~
I’m here today and would like to announce that my best friend ,my all time on court opponent, or more used to known as face expressionless player Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia will start our partnership effective from 1st January 2017…
This might be a huge move on for us and also for badminton field .However we hope that our decision can slightly freshening the badminton world..
And also I would like to take this opportunity here to say a big thank you to Koo Kien Keat who have been my partner for 10years. In this 10years times we did share our happiness and also went through the toughest period that we had~He is always my senior ,my guidance and like my big brother that guide me often in and off court , during training session~thank you brother .
I’m here sincerely wish him all the best in his new career …
See you all soon in 2017
Hendra Setiawan also posted a similar message on his social media page saying:
“Next year, I will have a new partner who used to be one of my hardest opponent and also my good friend. He is Asian games champion 2006 & All England champion 2007.. Welcoming my new partner Tan Boon Heong.. Big hope that we can be the best. New Partner, New Target, New Challenge”
Tan Boon Heong/Koo Kien Keat officially ended their partnership after their first round loss at the Hong Kong Open last month, while Hendra Setiawan retired from the Indonesia national in Nov 15, 2016.