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Thursday November 29, 2012
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles coach Tan Kim Her believes that top pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have justified the coaches’ faith with their recent run of decent results.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong came under severe criticism before and during the London Olympics in July due to their poor form.
They were tipped to be split up by the BA of Malaysia (BAM) upon returning from London as many felt that they did not have any future as a pair.
But the BAM and the doubles coaches decided against it at the last moment and Kien Keat-Boon Heong have since picked up their form.
Since the Olympics, the pair have made the final of three tournaments – Japan Open, Denmark Open and Hong Kong Open – as well as the semi-finals of the China Open.
Although they have faltered at the final stages, Kien Keat-Boon Heong are now ranked second in the world and Kim Her is delighted at the way they have been playing.
“After the Olympics, many thought that their slump will continue,” he said.
“But that’s not been the case as Kien Keat-Boon Heong have been working harder.
“They are now even closer as a pair and have cleared up any misunderstandings they’ve had.
“To make three finals is a good result and I believe that they’ve shown that they can still play as pair and have much to offer.
“Although they have yet to win, I think they can spring a surprise at the BWF World Super Series Finals in Shenzhen next month.”
Kien Keat-Boon Heong qualified for the season-ending event from Dec 12-16 on merit by virtue of being at the top of the pack in the Super Series standings.
Only the top eight pairs in the standings qualify for the finals, with each country allowed to send two pairs if both are in the top eight.
With top China pair Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng failing to make the cut, Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s task of landing a major title should be a lot easier as they will have one less rival to deal with.
However, Kim Her warned Kien Keat-Boon Heong not to take it easy as the likes of Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen and China’s Hong Wei-Shen Ye could prove to be spoilers.
“Boe-Morgensen and Hong Wei-Shen Ye will be the clear threat as the rest of the field are not quite there yet,” said Kim Her.
The other qualifiers for the Super Series Finals are Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa and Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata, South Koreans Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang, Thailand’s Bodin Isaara-Maneepong Jongjit and Malaysian No. 2 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong.
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