KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Tan Boon Heong can still picture the disappointment on the face of coach Rexy Mainaky after his failure together with Koo Kien Keat to retain the All-England men’s doubles title last year.
And he feels that the best way for them to make up for it is to regain the title to present Rexy an ideal birthday gift.
The All-England begins on Wednesday and Rexy will turn 41 just a day after the prestigious event in Birmingham on March 9.
Boon Heong, who won the title in his maiden appearance with Kien Keat in 2007, said that he had extra motivation to do well in his third outing in the All-England.
“Last year was not an easy year season for the men’s doubles department. Our coach has put in a lot of work to turn things around,” said Boon Heong.
“Once again, the All-England coincides with my coach’s birthday. Rexy said it was his best birthday gift when we won the title two years ago. We let him down last year and Kien Keat and I will do our best to bring him another big birthday cheer.”
Last year, they also failed to defend the Malaysia and Switzerland Open titles in the first half of the season, They then hit the comeback trail. They won the Macau Open in October and the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu in December.
The 22-year-old Boon Heong added that compared to previously, they were better prepared for the challenges in the All-England this time.
“I am more experienced and focused but at the same, I have also learnt to enjoy the game. Eveything falls into place when I take a more relaxed approach,” he said.