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Wednesday October 17, 2012

Koo and Tan out to justify their decision to stick together

ODENSE: Doubles shuttlers Tan Boon Heong, Cai Yun of China and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark have one thing in common – they are willing to stick with their partners through thick and thin.

And all three will be keen to show that they have made the right decision by making their presence felt with their partners – Koo Kien Keat, Fu Haifeng and Mathias Boe respectively – in the Denmark Open at the Odense Sports Park today.

Boon Heong, however, will have the toughest task. Unlike Cai Yun-Haifeng and Boe-Mogensen, his partnership with Kien Keat has been on a downward slide.

Boon Heong-Kien Keat will take on South Korea’s new pairing of Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun and are desperate for a win.

“I’ve decided to stick with Koo because it’s the right thing to do. In terms of speed, we can match each other. It will be catastrophic if I had chosen to play with an inexperienced youngster,” said Boon Heong.

“There are several new pairings in Denmark. I believe Koo and I have the advantage over them because we have played together for a long time.

“Of course, we have to play well to win, especially against Korea’s Yong-dae-Sung-hyun because they are good as individual players. It is their first tournament together. We hope to raise our game against them,” added Boon Heong, who played in the mixed doubles qualifying tournament “for fun” yesterday.

He partnered Chin Eei Hui but the duo showed a complete lack of understanding and lost the opening round match 13-21, 18-21 to Patiphat Chalardchaleam-Savitree Amitrapai of Thailand.

“I guess I am not cut out for mixed doubles. I’d rather stick to the men’s doubles,” said Boon Heong, who won the Denmark Open with Kien Keat in 2009.

Cai Yun, meanwhile, said he wants to continue enjoying the good times with Haifeng although the pair have won almost every tournament, including their first Olympic Games gold medal in London in August.

“Winning all these titles is just the motivation that keeps us going. Now that we have won everything, we just want to enjoy our partnership and treat badminton fans to some good matches,” said Cai Yun.

Mogensen, who has yet to win an Olympic gold medal or the world title with Boe, said: “The retirement of Chung Jae-sung of South Korea has brought some changes to the Korean line-up. Boe and I want to achieve more and if we can lift our A game, we can go far in our home tournament.


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