GUANGZHOU: Malaysia’s doubles department can take a leaf out of Indonesian Hendra Setiawan’s commitment to raise younger players to stardom.
On Sunday, the seasoned campaigner combined forces with first-timer Mohd Ahsan to win the men’s doubles title by beating Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen 21-13, 23-21 in the final of the World Championships at the Tianhe Gymnasium.
In less than a year since they teamed up, Hendra has guided the 26-year-old Ahsan to win three Open titles - Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore before their big one on Sunday.
Before the partnership, Ahsan had played with Bona Septano but that partnership was not heading anywhere.
“Ahsan was demotivated when I first partnered him. I encouraged and advised him, and shared my experiences with him. Now, he is moving in the right direction,” said a beaming Hendra, who had won his first world title with Markis Kido at the 2007 world meet in Kuala Lumpur.
Currently, Badminton Association of Malaysia are on the verge of deciding the fate of their top senior pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong after they failed to meet the target of reaching the final at the world meet. The duo lost in straight games to Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang of South Korea in the quarter-finals.
They may want to consider splitting Kien Keat-Boon Heong and partnering them with younger players.