Badminton Life

Koo and Tan Take Aim at Masters

Malaysian men's doubles pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong have secured a last-minute place at the season-ending Super Series Masters Finals, to be held in Kota Kinabalu from December 18-21.

And they hope that they can make the most of their presence by recapturing the form that saw them win the 2007 All England men's doubles title.

The duo have had an up and down year and have been the cause of many frustrating nights for national doubles coach Rexy Manaiky.

But they want to end the year on a high note so they can start their 2009 schedule with a clean slate.

They reached the semi-finals of recent Super Series tournaments in France, China and Hong Kong, which helped them reach the Finals as the seventh-ranked pair.

Koo told Malaysia's Star newspaper: "It is great to be among the top eight for the Masters Finals. It has not been that a good year for us, especially in mid-season. But we are happy that we are back on the right track.

"It will be our last tournament of the year and we will go all out to reach our target of at least the semi-finals."

In 2007, Koo and Tan won the All England, Malaysian Open and Swiss Open titles but 2008 has been a disappointing year by their standards.

There were also stories about Koo being arrogant and neglecting his training. However, it appears to be coming together for the duo, especially with a host of young men's doubles pairs eager to take over as Malaysia's number one team.

Also taking part in the Finals are Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, of Indonesia, Malaysians Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, Danish duo Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen, South Koreans Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae, Denmark's Mathias Boe and Carsten Morgensen and the Indonesian-American combination of Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan.

The only team ranked below them are China's Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.

"It will not be easy to win even one match in the Masters Finals. All the best pairs have qualified. We need to win at least two matches in the group to book a place in the last four. We will try," said Koo.

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