Badminton Life

Koo and Tan Regain World-Beating Form

The good times are here again for Malaysia's mercurial pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong after they won the men's doubles title at the BWF World Super Series Masters Final in Kota Kinabalu.

The sixth seeds lifted the title with a 21-18, 21-14 victory over the favoured South Korean pair of Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae in the final.

Koo and Tan won the All England title in 2007 and went on to have a stellar year. However, 2008 has been a different story, with tales of arrogance and partying appearing in the local media.

National doubles coach Rexy Mainaky was reported to be on the verge of dumping the pair but gave them chance after chance. Now, they have repaid his faith by winning one of the most prestigious titles on the global circuit.

Koo, who shouldered much of the blame for the pair's downfall, said the relationship between him and Tan had strengthened over the past few months, enabling them to play better when on the court.

Said Koo: "I think one reason for our current comeback is that we have started to trust each other and we make efforts to complement each other's weaknesses and strengths.

"We are also playing as a pair now and less as an individual with spectacular skills. I've just been having a very relaxed time here, there is no pressure. I went swimming and went to the beach."

Tan, who is younger than his partner, added: "We are gunning for the world title next year, we hope this win will help us next season."

In the semi-finals, Koo and Tan defeated their compatriots and second seeds Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari 22-20, 21-14.

Before that, they finished top of Group B with three strong victories, including a three-game win over the world number one pair, Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, of Indonesia.

They also beat Denmark's Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in addition to beating the USA-Indonesia duo of Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya.

Jung and Lee topped Group A with wins over Zakry and Fairuzizuan, England's Chris Adcock and Robert Blair, and Denmark's Anders Kristiansen and Simon Mollyhus.

In the semi-finals, they scored probably the biggest upset of the tournament when they eliminated Markis and Hendra from the tournament.

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