Bangkok: In the hope to rejuvenate his career, Koo Kien Keat left the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on March to join the Granular professional badminton club in Bangkok, Thailand. Since then, he only played in New Zealand Open, where he partnered with Ng Hui Lin in mixed doubles and Pakkawat Vilailak in men’s doubles.
On Monday, his professional career was hindered by his own club again when the Granular’s chairman Jane Piyatat decided to withdraw his players from Australian Badminton Open, which will be held from June 24 to 29, and the Yonex US Open Badminton Championship that runs from July 8 to 13.
Piyatat revealed the withdrawal from these two tournaments was due to concerns over his players’ safety following negative reaction from both countries towards the May 22 military coup in Thailand.
Nine players from the club are being affected by Piyatat’s decision — Koo Kien Keat, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Duanganong Aroonkesorn, Kulchara Worawichitchaikul, Pakkawat Vilailak, Trawut Potieng, Watchara Buranakruea, Kilasu Ostermeyer and Phataimas Muenwong.
“I also regret the opportunities our players are losing because everyone was in the main draws of the two tournaments, which are super series, but the nation comes first,” said Piyatat.
Oddly enough, a total of 18 Thai players including Boonsak Ponsana and Ratchanok Intanon will be playing in the Australian Open which kicks off on June 24.