Friday February 22, 2013
Chin Chai tells Koo-Tan: Forget number one spot and go for titles
KUALA LUMPUR: Top men’s doubles shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong may be able to regain their world No. 1 status after a three-year lapse with a strong showing in Europe.
But Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai believes winning titles is more meaningful than wrestling back the world No. 1 status for the duo.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the world No. 2, will be playing in back-to back tournaments at the All-England in Birmingham from March 5-10 and the Swiss Open from March 12-17.
The duo are seeded second behind world No. 1 Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the All-England.
They are vying for their second All-England title, having won it in 2007.
For the Swiss Open, Kien Keat-Boon Heong have been given the top billing.
They, however, face a tricky path with formidable pairs Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun and Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung of South Korea and Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the fray.
All these three pairs have won at least one title in the last six months.
Chin Chai said it would give Kien Keat and Boon Heong a huge boost ahead of the World Championships in Guangzhou in August if they end their three-year major title drought in one of the European tournaments.
The duo have not won anything big since winning the 2010 Malaysian Open Super Series.
They nailed the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold last year in a tournament without any big stars.
“I am happy with the steady progress shown by them since the Olympic Games last year. I hope they will display stronger performances this year and win major titles,” said Chin Chai.
Since losing in the bronze medal playoff at the London Olympic Games in August, a transformed Kien Keat-Boon Heong reached the finals of the Opens in Japan, Denmark and Hong Kong.
They, however, failed to win any titles.
“Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s ranking points are quite close with Mathias-Carsten. I will be happy if they can maintain a top four ranking until the world meet as it will give them a good seeding. I want them to win titles before the World Champion-ships so that it will put them in good stead going into a major event,” said Chin Chai.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong were ranked world No. 1 for more than a year between 2009-2010.