KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles specialist Tan Boon Heong can’t stand losing to the same opponents twice.
Last year, he and partner Koo Kien Keat lost to Taiwan’s Tsai Chia-hsin-Hu Chung-hsien in the second round of the China Open and Japan's Shuichi Sakamoto-Ikeda Shintaro in the third round of the World Championships.
This year, Boon Heong has avenged the defeat to the Taiwanese pair. He and Kien Keat beat Chia-hsin-Chung-hsien in the Thomas Cup qualifiers in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
Now, he can’t wait to face the Japanese duo in the All-England, which begins on Wednesday in Birmingham.
Boon Heong-Kien Keat will get a chance for revenge when they take on the Japanese pair in the first round.
The 21-year-old Boon Heong said that he has learnt from his past experiences.
“Yes, people will always remember our defeat to the Japanese pair at the world meet. But to me, the past is long gone and best forgotten. I am not rattled with the opportunity of meeting them again,” said Boon Heong after attending a seminar hosted by the National Sports Institute (NSI) and Phiten yesterday.
“I will face the Japanese the same way I faced the Taiwanese at the qualifiers. We did not put undue pressure on ourselves by thinking about our earlier defeat to them.
“I agree that the losses to the Japanese and Taiwanese pairs were the low points in my badminton career. But the defeats have also made me want to work even harder.”
Boon Heong said that he was focused on defending the title with Kien Keat in the All-England.
“Kien Keat and I cannot run away from being the centre of attention at the All-England. It is something that we have to accept and deal with. Our opponents are now more aware of the way we play. But we are also prepared and, for now, we want to clear the first hurdle,” said Boon Heong.
The others in the same half with Boon Heong-Kien Keat in the All-England are top seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, the Indonesia-US combination of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan, and the top two Danish pairs – Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen and Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen.