PETALING JAYA: National doubles shuttler Tan Boon Heong will get special attention from South Korean coach Yoo Yong-sung when he returns from the China Open in Shanghai.
Yesterday, national doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her decided that Malaysia’s new coach Yong-sung, who was recently roped in to beef up the men’s doubles department, would play a more active role in raising the profile of Boon Heong and his partner Koo Kien Keat to complement the work of national coach Pang Cheh Chang.
On Friday, Boon Heong-Kien Keat lost to South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Yoo Yeon-seong for the sixth time in the quarter-finals of the China Open in Shanghai. It shows that they are still lagging behind in terms of preparations for next year’s London Olympic Games.
Kim Her said Yong-sung would be more than just an observer and advisor to the players after the China Open. He will be given the task to coach Boon Heong two times a week in the afternoon.
“I have discussed this with Pang and high-performance director Datuk James (Selvaraj) and we have agreed that Yong-sung will be given an additional task. He had been observing Koo and Tan for two weeks prior to the China Open. Now, we want him to give them some court training as well,” said Kim Her.
“I have also spoken to Koo and Tan.
“Koo prefers to spend his afternoon session doing physical training at the gymnasium but Boon Heong wants more time on court.
“We have decided that Boon Heong would be able to add more variety in his game by spending some quality time with Yong-sung in the afternoon. It will then be up to Boon Heong on how he wants to make the best out of this arrangement.”
Kim Her agreed that the World No. 5 Kien Keat-Boon Heong had some catching up to do.
“It is obvious that Boon Heong and Kien Keat still need to keep improving their game but I am confident they are heading in the right direction.
“The coaches have had several heart-to-heart sessions with them – and the duo are sincere in wanting to make a comeback,” said Kim Her.
“Time is against them as far as preparations for the Olympic Games are concerned. We have about eight months to iron out their weaknesses and we hope they will make speedy progress.”
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will be competing in the Super Series Masters Finals, which will be held in Liu Zhou, China, from Dec 14-18. It will be their last assignment for the year and they are hoping to win at least one major title before the year ends.