Badminton

Published: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 10:19:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 10:24:04 PM

Yao Han to partner Boon Heong in three tourneys

Former world junior champion doubles player Ow Yao Han will team up with Tan Boon Heong in three tournaments to show BAM they can be a successful pair. - Filepic

Former world junior champion doubles player Ow Yao Han will team up with Tan Boon Heong in three tournaments to show BAM they can be a successful pair. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time world junior doubles champion Ow Yao Han is ready to “seize the day” when he begins his journey with seasoned campaigner Tan Boon Heong.

The 22-year-old Yao Han has been given a chance to partner Boon Heong in three tournaments – the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold from March 25-30 at Pasir Gudang, Johor; India Open Superseries from April 1-6 in New Delhi; and Singapore Open Superseries from April 8-13.

Their partnership will be reviewed after that and the coaches will decide whether they are good enough to play together.

Boon Heong used to team up with Koo Kien Keat, who resigned from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) recently – thus ending the national number one’s seven-year roller-coaster partnership.

Yao Han, who has also been without a partner since Teo Kok Siang was floored by a freak accident in January, is determined to make his partnership with Boon Heong work.

“I’ve been training with Boon Heong and have learned so much from him ... he is so experienced. I’m also trying to push myself to live up to his expectations,” said Yao Han.

“For now, I’ve only been registered for three tournaments with Boon Heong. I hope to use this opportunity to make our partnership work.”

Yao Han, who graduated to the national team in 2011, admitted that he has struggled to make a breakthrough in the senior ranks. His best was reaching the final of the Malaysia Open GP Gold with Chooi Kah Ming last year.

“The junior results are in the past ... now, I want to achieve good results in the senior ranks. Hopefully, I can achieve it with Boon Heong,” said Yao Han, who won the world junior titles in 2009 (with Kah Ming) and 2010 (with Yew Hong Kheng).

In the Malaysia Open GP Gold, Yao Han and Boon Heong have been seeded eighth. If all goes well, they are expected to meet third seeds Markis Kido-Gideon Markus Fernaldi of Indonesia.

The other Malaysians in the fray are defending champions Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi. The other notable pairs in the fray are fifth seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China, sixth seeds Fran Kurniawan-Bona Septano of Indonesia and seventh seeds Liang Jui-wei-Liao Kuan-hao of Taiwan.

In the men’s singles, Chong Wei Feng and several back-up players will be counted on to win the honours in the absence of three-time All-England champion Lee Chong Wei.

They will have to stave off challenges from top seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand; China’s Xue Song and Guo Kai; India’s rising stars B. Sai Praneeth, H.S. Prannoy, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and Aditya Prakash; Taiwan’s Hsu Jen-hao and Chou Tien-chen; and Indonesia’s Simon Santoso.

Tags / Keywords: Ow Yao Han, Tan Boon Heong, Koo Kien Keat, badminton, doubles, Singapore, India, gold, Malaysia

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