Sunday, 24 August 2014 | MYT 6:40 PM
Boon Heong to savour last hurrah to Kien Keat partnership
This year's World Championships will be the curtain call on the Tan Boon Heong-Koo Kien Keat partnership.
COPENHAGEN: For most part of his career, doubles shuttler Tan Boon Heong is used to being the No. 1 player.
And he admits it would be difficult to part ways with partner Koo Kien Keat after the World Championships.
“Since I was 19, I have been the country’s top player (with Kien Keat). It is difficult to accept we are no longer the top ranked pair,” said the 26-year-old Boon Heong after a training session at Ballerup Super Arena on Saturday.
“Since young, all I knew was badminton. Even during my junior days, I have always been at the top.
“So, it is quite hard to deal with this situation now – knowing you are not up there anymore. No one recognise you when you are the second or third best.”
Boon Heong-Kien Keat have qualified for the championships as the third ranked pair. The other two Malaysians are seventh seeds Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem.
Today, Boon Heong-Kien Keat have received a first round bye. They will take on the winner of Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China and Scotland’s Martin Campbell-Patrick Machugh in the second round.
Boon Heong and Kien Keat have played in every World Championships since the 2007 edition in Kuala Lumpur. Their best outing was reaching the final in Paris in 2010.
“We have not had the best of preparations coming into this world meet but I hope to finish off on a good note with Kien Keat. It will be awesome if we can go far,” said Boon Heong, who won the 2006 Asian Games gold and the 2007 All-England title with Kien Keat.
“Hopefully, a strong finish here will also bring back the motivation in me to get back to the top again,” he added.
Boon Heong will team up with Thien How for the Asian Games in South Korea while Kien Keat will resume his job as a coach with professional club Granular in Thailand.