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Saturday November 10, 2012

Kien Keat happy to stand by his friend Lee Chong Wei on wedding day

<B>One for the album:</B> Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo (centre) with best men and bridesmaids during their wedding reception dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. — GLENN GUAN / The Star One for the album: Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo (centre) with best men and bridesmaids during their wedding reception dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. — GLENN GUAN / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: To be the best man at one of the most talked about weddings of the year, that of Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo, is certainly exciting and national doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat is relishing every moment.

The 27-year-old Kien Keat is, however, hoping that this will be the last time that he plays the supporting role.

“I have been the best man at several weddings now. There’s a saying that one shouldn’t do this too many times. One by one my friends are getting married and the pressure is getting to me. I don’t want to be left behind,” he said bursting in laughter.

Asked whether he has someone special in his life, Kien Keat said: “I have met a few but no one seems to be the right one at the moment.”

The former All-England champion is one of the six best men at two-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei and Mew Choo’s grand wedding, which is being celebrated in Kuala Lumpur over two days.

Chong Wei hosted a number of dignitaries, including the King, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday to mark the occasion. The official wedding reception, which will be attended by family and close friends, will be held today.

Besides Kien Keat, the other shuttlers on best man duty are Tan Boon Heong and Gan Teik Chai. Of the six bridesmaids, two – Haw Chiou Hwee and Ng Sock Ai – are former internationals.

Kien Keat said it was an honour to be Chong Wei’s best man but agreed that it involved a lot of work and late nights.

“I have even lost my voice,” he quipped.

“But it’s the most important day of his life and I’m glad that I can be there for him.

“Unfortunately, as a national team, we didn’t prepare anything special for him. We had planned to put up a video of all his and Mew Choo’s photos since their juniors days but it didn’t work out. We managed to stage his bachelor party a few days ago though.

“One of the challenging parts was finalising the guest list. We tried to remind him if he left out anybody. People will understand if they are not invited because he just has too many friends.”

On how Chong Wei handled the whole process, Kien Keat said: “He had to deal with so many things but he was cool. He attended all the meetings, rehearsals and remained joyful through it all. It’s just like Chong Wei on court – taking every challenge in a cool and collected manner. Today, he looked dashing indeed with Mew Choo,” added Kien Keat, who will be flying off to China as soon as his wedding duties are over.

He and Boon Heong will be competing in the China Open, which starts on Wednesday in Shanghai, and they will be out to end their two-year wait for a Super Series title.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the third seeds, have been drawn in the top half with Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand and Japan’s Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata.

In the lower half of the draw are four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang of South Korea and two other Malaysian pairs – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon-Lim Khim Wah.

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