Tan’s a smash hit on FB

Fun facts: Former international Tan Boon Heong giving a live commentary of the match between Lee Zii Jia and Sameer Verma on his Facebook Live session.

PETALING JAYA: Former doubles ace Tan Boon Heong used to leave his fans in awe with his powerful smashes. Now, he is turning out to be a smashing star in sports commentary.

The 33-year-old Boon Heong already has a huge following via his Facebook Live session since he tested out his skills as a sports analyst right from the comfort of his home during the Open tournaments in Thailand last month.

Armed with more confidence now, he is ready to cover all the action from the Swiss Open (March 2-7) and All-England (March 17-21).

Boon Heong, who holds the record as the fastest smasher in the world with a speed of 493kmph, said he wanted to give quality match assessments to his fans.

“There is no better person to do it than a former player. I’m able to share what goes on court based on my years of experience, ” said Boon Heong, who won the 2007 All-England title with his former partner Koo Kien Keat.

“I can explain about the players’ techniques and what he did right or wrong. At times, I’m also able to give additional insights as I know the players.”

His first was in Thailand and he became a hit as all his match narrations were followed by 25,000 viewers in total.

All Boon Heong did was to watch live matches on YouTube and give running commentaries as the games unfolded. His commentary on national No. 1 Lee Zii Jia against Sameer Verma of India alone had 12,000 likes.

“It would have been better to do live streaming but I can’t do that because of copyright violation. I’m aware of that, so I just stick to my FB Live chat.

“The likes on my page range from 4,000 to 12,000 for different matches in the men’s doubles, singles and mixed doubles.

“I try to mix it up although I do speak Mandarin mainly. I want to speak more Malay too. I want Chinese, Malays and Indians to view it too... all my Malaysian fans.

“The commentary is not formal, not like the professional ones you see on television. I just try to be myself. I say what comes to mind and sometimes, the language is like rojak (all mixed up), ” he said.

“Almost all the feedback has been good. In fact, some of my fans have screenshot the sessions and shared them on their Instagram with the hashtag #bestcommentator. I appreciate it.”

As an appreciation to his fans, Boon Heong also offers T-shirts and racquets as rewards for the lucky ones.

Besides doing live chats, Boon Heong also hosts talk shows together with Datuk Lee Chong Wei in their Facebook under the page ‘Bad Talk’ and so far, it has been a hit too.

“I’ve invited a few players. The talk with Goh Liu Ying had 11,500 viewers. I also invited Taiwan’s Lee Yang (5,000) and Iskandar Zulkarnain (3,000), ” added Boon Heong, who hopes to turn his new hobby into a small but thriving business by attracting advertisers to his page too.

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