KUALA LUMPUR: It seems like just yesterday but 15 years have gone by since doubles shuttler Hoon Thien How joined Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) as a junior.
But the good news is that this “old timer” hasn’t lost his drive nor passion for the game.
Doubles player Hoon Thien How (left) who has been with BAM for 15 years, aims to do well in the up-coming German and All-England championships with his partner Tan Wee Kiong.
Together with his partner Tan Wee Kiong, the duo are all geared up to make a quick rebound at the German Open from Feb 25-March 2 in Mulheim and the All-England from March 4-9 in Birmingham.
Thien How-Wee Kiong did well at the tail-end of last year – putting up promising performances in several tournaments.
The World No. 8 did well to reach the China Open final; ended their title drought by winning the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold; and gave a heart-warming show before bowing out in the BWF World Super Series Finals in Kuala Lumpur in December.
BUKIT JALIL: Let's be real, it will be tough for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei to win his 10th home title in the Maybank Malaysian Open when the action starts Wednesday with the first round at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
He is getting older. His younger opponents are getting bolder and stronger. And he is starting to feel the burden of responsibility on his tired shoulders.
But the 31-year-old intends to let the magic of playing at home do the talking once again this week.
His nine-month-old baby boy Kingston will be cheering his “papa” on every day from the stands. His devoted wife Wong Mew Choo, family and friends will be there. And thousands of his loyal and patriotic fans will be rooting for him.
BUKIT JALIL: National doubles shuttler Hoon Thien How is rallying his team-mates to lift the gloom in the men’s doubles department by ending a four-year rut at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The men’s doubles have failed to win any Super Series titles for the past four years since Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong nailed the home title in 2010.
This year, Malaysia will be represented by Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and independent shuttlers Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazri-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and all four will start from the main draw on Wednesday.
The others - Tan Yip Jiun-Yew Hong Kheng, Tan Chee Tean-Yin Wong Fai, Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi, Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Hafiz Hashim, Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock and Jagdish Singh-Roni Tan Wee Long are aiming to come through the qualifying round starting on Tuesday.
KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang is optimistic the healthy rivalry between Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem will revive Malaysia’s fortunes this season.
Malaysia have been starved off major Open titles from the men’s doubles department over the last three years.
Thien How-Wee Kiong defeated Khim Wah-V Shem in a closely-fought final in the National Grand Prix Finals at Putrajaya last month, sparking a promise that the country’s second and third-ranked pairs are set to snap at each other’s heels this year.
The two pairs will get to show who are better when they begin their campaigns in the season-opener Korean Open in Seoul on Wednesday.
KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles champion Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How will be fighting on two fronts when they start their campaign in the Korean Open on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the duo and compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem left for Seoul for the season opener of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Super Series.
The 24-year-old Wee Kiong said their opening round match would be “treacherous”.
“The weather in Seoul is below 13°C. It is really cold. On top of that, we have a tricky opening match against an upcoming pair from China (Kang Jun-Liu Cheng). We cannot take them lightly.
“We have to balance our act. We have to adapt to the cold condition and also stay on guard against the Chinese pair,” said Wee Kiong.