Badminton Life

Macau Mission for Koo and Tan

Malaysia's former All England men's doubles champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong may face the axe if they are unable to successfully defend their Macau Open title this week.

Local media reports suggest that national coaches will be keeping a close eye on the pair, who have failed to maintain the form that took them to the 2007 All England title.

Doubles coach Rexy Mainaky needs to be convinced that the duo can produce the performances that will justify their future in the Malaysian national team.

Last week, the Asian Games champions lost in the second round of the China Masters. This year has been a stark contrast to 2007 when, apart from the All England, they won titles in Malaysia, Switzerland, Macau, the Philippines and Denmark.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager, Kenny Goh is in charge of putting together and coaching team for the 2012 London Olympics as well as being involved in formulating a suitable training programme.

He told The Star that there will be a meeting of coaches after the Macau tournament.

"The coaches will have to come out with their recommendations of players for the London Olympics. We will have a joint meeting with the NSC (National Sports Council) after that," Goh was quoted as saying.

"Then, it will be up to the BAM coaching and training committee to endorse our proposed structure and squads."

"Probably for some coaches, the performances of their players in the Macau Open will help them to make a decision on who they want to recommend or on who they want their players to partner with."

Koo and Tan, given their ability, should be able to perform well in Macau given the absence of many other top teams.

Indonesia's Olympic gold-medal winning pair of Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan will miss out on the Macau event after taking the title at last week's China Masters in Guangzhou.

In their half of the draw are China's He Hanbin-Shen He, Hong Kong's Albertus Susanto Nyoto-Lok Kei Lo, Indonesians Fernando Kurniawan-Lingga Lie and the Malaysian back-up pairs of Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang and Lim Khim Wan-Chan Peng Soon.

The other half has second seeds Fang Chieh-min-Lee Sheng-mu of Taiwan, China's Sun Junjie-Xu Chen and Malaysians Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng, Ng Kean Kok-Hong Chieng Hun, Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jien Guo and Chow Pak Chuu-Poh Chai Boon.

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