KUALA LUMPUR: Newly appointed coach Paulus Firman has yet to complete one month at work but he already knows what is holding back Malaysia’s second ranked pair Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong from achieving a breakthrough – their toothless attacking game.
And he plans to give them more bite so they can live up to their status as one of the top 10 men’s doubles pairs in the world.
Elite shuttlers Thien How-Wee Kiong, who are currently ranked 10th in the world, have not won any Open titles and their best achievement was a semi- final finish in the Japan Open last year.
However, hopes are high on the duo making a breakthrough at the All-England from March 5-10.
Paulus, who had a chance of observing Thien How-Wee Kiong during the Indonesian Super League and also in training, said that the duo had the potential but their attacking forte must improve.
Besides Thien How-Wee Kiong, Paulus is also responsible for world No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Tan Wee Gieen.
“Currently, Hoon and Tan’s consistency and concentration in a game is not that stable yet. One moment, they will play exceptionally well and the next, they just lose their focus easily,” said Paulus.
“In order to match the other more established pairs, Hoon and Tan will have to add more power and sting to their attacking game. Currently, their attacking play is readable,” he said.
At the Indonesian Super League, Thien How-Wee Kiong played as the first doubles and lost two out of their six matches. Their most disappointing match was probably against Indonesians Rian Sukmawan-Rendra Wijaya in the final. Malaysia eventually lost 2-3 to Musica Champion.
Malaysia could have won the tie if they had won.
Paulus said he hopes to put things right during training.
“Having the right mentality during training is important.
“If we get it right here, everything else will fall into place. I will be helping Hoon and Tan to beef up their attacking game and hopefully, it will help them achieve more success.”
In the All-England, Thien How-Wee Kiong are unseeded while Kien Keat-Boon Heong will open their campaign as the second seeds.
“It is an important tournament for both these pairs. A good showing will surely put them on the right track for the World Championships this year (August in Guangzhou),” added Paulus.