By S. RAMAGURU
LONDON: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong put up a good fight but it was not enough to win a medal in the men’s doubles badminton competition in the London Olympics.
The Malaysians lost 21-23, 10-21 to S. Korea’s Chung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae in 47 minutes in the men’s doubles bronze medal playoff at the Wembley Arena here on Sunday.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong started the match in great form, holding the lead at 7-5, 11-0, 19-13 and even held game point at 20-18.
The Koreans, however, refused to give in and narrowed the gap at 20-19 before forcing deuce and winning 23-21 in 22 minutes.
The Koreans continued with the momentum in the second game and raced to a 7-1 lead in just four minutes. They went on to lead 14-5 and 20-10 before wrapping up the match 21-10 to bag the bronze medal.
Kien Keat said they never recovered from the Korean fightback in the first set.
“We were heading for a win and were already easing off for the second set. But they came back strongly from 13-19 down to beat us,” he said.
“That was really a terrible blow and we were devastated. We were unable to play our usual game after that. We wanted to win but it just wasn’t our day.”
The Korean pair had also beaten the Malaysians, 21-16, 21-11, in the group stages.
Kien Keat dispelled any notion of quitting the national team just yet.
“No, I intend to continue playing ... there’s no reason why I can’t play in the next Olympics (in Rio de Janeiro in 2016).
“I will review my game when we return home but this is certainly the best we have played in a long time,” he said.
Boon Heong also agreed that the Korean fightback had stunned them.
“It's demoralising when your opponents fight back in such a manner. We couldn’t recover from it. We did well in the first game and were too eager to finish it off," he said.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, Kien Keat-Boon Heong had lost 9-21, 19-21 to China’s world champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in just 34 minutes.
Jae-sung and Yong-dae, the No.2 seeds, were stunned 21-17, 18-21, 20-22 by Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in their last four clash.