THE dejected look said it all, as doubles player Tan Boon Heong sat hunched in one corner, slowly wiping the tears from his eyes.
All he uttered at first was: “I want to say sorry to my partner Koo (Kien Keat).”
Hopes were high on Kien Keat-Boon Heong to book a place in the semi-finals on Friday but crumbled under pressure and allowed Shuichi Sakamoto-Shintaro Ikeda of Japan to snatch a 21-13, 17-21, 25-23 win.
What made the defeat more painful was the fact that it was the first time they started as the second seeds and lost to a lower ranked pair.
The 19-year-old Boon Heong blamed no one but himself for allowing the Japanese pair to close the gap when they were already ahead at 17-14.
“I made a few mistakes during crucial moments and I don’t know what to do. The meet is being held on our home ground and it was the best chance to win the world title but we let it slip away.
“My performance was not good and it affected Koo’s game,” said Boon Heong.
Commenting on their performance against the Japanese pair, Boon Heong said they became desperate in the second game after losing the first.
“The Japanese pair were able to counter all our shots and that was when we started to play defensive,” said Boon Heong, who is determined to learn from the mistakes he made.
“It is a good learning experience for me in my world meet debut because I still have more world championships to look forward to,” said Boon Heong.
Kien Keat was also gutted and said: “This was my most disappointing outing. I have lost matches before but this one really hurts,” said Kien Keat, who has two World Championships bronze medals to show from two previous outings.
Kien Keat took bronze in his men’s doubles partnership with Chan Chong Ming when he made his debut in Anaheim two years ago and repeated the feat with Wong Pei Tty in the mixed doubles in Madrid last year.
The relatively young pairing of Kien Keat-Boon Heong will go on a short break and will return to action in the Japan Open next month.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong have claimed five titles on the world badminton circuit since they were first paired together in October last year.
They smashed their way to the Asian Games gold in Doha last year and were winners in the Malaysian Open, All-England, Swiss Open and Philippines Open this year.