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Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Thursday September 5, 2013 MYT 6:08:23 PM
by rajes paul
Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong will know their fate after the BAM council meeting on Sept 7.
KUALA LUMPUR: National men doubles shuttlers Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong have been wearing big smiles on their faces since meeting Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff on Monday.
And surprisingly their names are now listed in the ranking tournament scheduled for Sept 9 at Stadium Juara although their fate as a pair will be decided two days earlier - at the BAM council meeting to be chaired by Tengku Mahaleel on Sept 7.
These positive signs could be an indication that their future as a pair may be spared once again although the duo did not meet the final target set by BAM at the World Championships in Guangzhou last month.
They crashed out in the quarter-finals to South Koreans Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung in Guangzhou.
BAM, under the previous leadership of Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, had given Kien Keat-Boon Heong a second chance to prove themselves after the duo failed to win any medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
All they had to do was reach the final in Guangzhou. If they failed, BAM under the previous administration had stated that it would either drop Kien Keat-Boon Heong or split them up.
However, it is learnt that Tengku Mahaleel may have other plans to revive the careers of the former Asian Games gold medallists and may be out to get the sympathy and support of council members to give the pair another break.
The future of the beleaguered Kien Keat-Boon Heong is one of the main issues on the agenda when Tengku Mahaleel, who succeeded Nadzmi on July 27, chairs his first council in Subang on Saturday.
The status of Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who had been struggling to find their footing since winning the Malaysian Open Super Series title in 2010, has been debated by many over the last three years - especially after both had under achieved at the last two majors - the London Olympic Games and World Championships in Guangzhou.
Many believe that the duo, who once ruled the world with their great fighting displays and charisma on court especially during the period of 2007-2009, had stagnated and should be given the boot from the national team.
Some however, believe that Kien Keat and Boon Heong are still a valuable asset to the country and should be partnered with younger players. The idea behind this move is for the seniors to improve the standard of junior players - something that Indonesia has successfully done.
At the last World Championships, old-hand Hendra Setiawan guided his younger partner Mohd Ahsan and the pair did well to nail the men’s doubles world title in Guangzhou. Hendra had previously won the world title with Markis Kido in the 2007 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s form has dropped due to a combination of several factors, including problems with coaches, discipline and lack of self-motivation according to the assessment and report by the coaching and training committee headed by Ng Chin Chai.
Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s future as a pair, Mahaleel will also decide on a replacement for Chin Chai as the coaching and training chairman. Currently, former international Tan Aik Mong is strongly tipped for the position.
Chin Chai however, is expected to be retained as BAM’s secretary for doing well over the last three years in strengthening the administration work.
Tags / Keywords:
badminton, BAM, Badminton Association of Malaysia, Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong, Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, Nadzmi Mohd Salleh
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