GEORGE TOWN: Veteran shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong showed that they still have fire in their bellies.
The Malaysians, bidding to qualify for their third Olympics after 2008 Beijing and 2012 London, knocked out top seeds Kim Sa-rang-Kim Gi-jung of South Korea 15-21, 21-18, 21-16 to reach the men’s doubles final in the Malaysian Masters at the SPICE Arena in Relau.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will take on Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia for the title.
It was Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s first win over the Koreans in five meetings, but they were not jumping for joy yet.
“Our work is not over yet,” said Boon Heong.
“We did not get off to a good start today. Our movements were not smooth and the fear of losing again was at the back of our minds.
“But we pulled ourselves up in the second game. Kien Keat and I kept reminding each other to just enjoy the game and things began to fall into place after that.”
Kien Keat said they would not put themselves under undue pressure in the final.
“We want to qualify for the Olympics but our approach is different this time. We are not that good yet but we are more relaxed.
“We are only thinking of how to get better in every game. The final will be a challenge. We have lost to the Indonesians once at the Vietnam Open last year but we hope to give them a fight this time,” said Kien Keat.
The top seeds in the women’s singles also crashed out on Saturday when Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea went down 19-21, 21-12, 10-21 to third seed P.V. Sindhu of India.
Sindhu will take on unseeded Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland in the final. Gilmour stunned seventh seed Yui Hashimoto of Japan 12-21, 21-18, 21-8 in the other semi-final.