Badminton Life

Seeking Glory Days Again

SINGAPORE, June 16 (Bernama) -- There is no pressure on them to win the Li Ning Singapore Open but Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are expected to show the world that they are on the right path towards recapturing their past glory.

The Malaysian No 1 doubles pair and the tournament's No 1 seed cleared their opening round match with a 21-14, 21-19 victory over South Korea's Kim Ki Jung and Shin Baek Chol at the Indoor Stadium here Wednesday, to set up a second-round match Thursday, against another Korean pair, Ko Sung Hyun and Yoo Yeong Seong.

But that's another story. The immediate task ahead for the pair is to work themselves towards the World Championship in Paris in August and then the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and ultimately, the Asian Games in Guangzhou at the end of the year.

"Tan and Koo know that winning the Singapore Open would be good for their career but they know the World Championship and the Asian Games are their priority and the coaching team is working towards that.

"I still have faith in them, and today's performance against a worthy set of opponents tells me that they are trying hard. I want to see them do well at the World Championship," said coach Rexy Mainaky.

But Tan and Koo's recent form and performances have continued to baffle the former world champion as he continues to find the answers to the pair's revival.

"Look at them during the Doha Asian Games, four years ago. They were like a breath of fresh air which swept past the badminton world. Whatever they did on the court, they were so full of confidence and even when they lost a point, you could tell from their body language that they will bounce back.

"And, they went on to win the All-England and Swiss Open, and the world began to take notice of them. I want to help them retrace the route which made them such a fearsome combination, four years ago," said Rexy.

There was also good news elsewhere when Gan Teik Chai and Tan Bin Shen knocked out the No 6 seed, Chen Hung Ling and Lin Yu Lang of Chinese Taipei, 21-19, 21-16 to book a ticket into the second round of the men's doubles.

But there was the disappointment too, as Malaysia's Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah, the No 7 seed were beaten in the opening round Wednesday, losing to South Korea's Cho Gun Woo-Kwon Yi Goo, 21-13, 11-21, 13-21 in 41 minutes.

Also the pair of Hoon Thien How and Ong Soon Hock were beaten by defending champions Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson of England, 13-21, 21-15 in their opening round match.

On a day when a leaking stadium roof, caused by the morning downpour, forced a three-hour delay, Malaysia's Wong Choon Hann's opening round match against Vietnam's Nguyen Tienh Minh was forced to be postponed.

By then, however, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim was safely through to the next round after his victory over England's Andrew Smith 21-14, 21-11 and he will play Holland's Dicky Palyama Thursday.

Source from BERNAMA

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