Friday March 8, 2013
Thien How-Wee Kiong advance to quarter-finals but Kien Keat-Boon Heong bite the dust
IT WAS day of high and low for Malaysia in the men’s doubles of the All-England yesterday when Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong made it to the quarter-finals while the more fancied pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong crashed out.
Thien How-Wee Kiong subdued the gallant run of Ingo Kindervater-Johannes Scoettler with a convincing 21-15, 21-15 win just a day after the Germans had dumped South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun out in the opening round.
World No.10 Thien How-Wee Kiong will take on the winner of the match between Malaysian Open champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and Taiwanese scratch pair Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chuia-hsin.
This will be the bulky Thien How’s second quarter-final appearance since he achieved it with Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif in 2011.
“We did all the right things against the Germans today so, it feels good to make the top eight for the first time with my new partner Wee Kiong,” said Thien How.
“We’re getting better in every match and we hope to keep the momentum going.”
The duo went on the offence right from the start and hardly gave their towering opponents room to rain down winners.
Wee Kiong was thrilled to reach his first All-England quarter-finals but hopes he won’t suffer stage fright in the fight for a place in the last four.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the 2007All-England champions, meanwhile were a huge letdown.
They hardly showed any substance in their game en route to losing 17-21, 18-21 to Thailand’s scratch pair Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech.
Boon Heong was visibly disappointed.
“This isn’t our game. We didn’t play well. The draw was relatively easy for us but we blew it. Our target was to reach at least the semi-finals,” he lamented.
“I thought that Koo and I were doing pretty good after the Olympic Games ... so this is disappointing. We’re still battling with confidence issues right now.”
Kien Keat, who was down with fever, said they would shift their attention to the World Championships in August.
“There were many top pairs who had suffered defeats even in the first round. The men’s doubles is quite open now. Anyway, we are skipping next week’s Swiss Open and will get back into action in the Australian Open next month,” said Kien Keat.
National doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her was happy to see Thien How-Wee Kiong living up to expectations.
“Thien How-Wee Kiong used the right tactical approach and it was good to see them plotting the downfall of their opponents with confidence. I hope they will keep at it,” he said.
On Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Kim Her said: “It’s sad to see them lose like this ... as they are much better than the Thai pair. They were not aggressive and allowed the Thais to gain confidence.
“Hopefully, with the help of coach Paulus Firman, we’ll be able to help them bounce back before the World Championships.”
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