THE Malaysian men’s pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have sent a crystal clear warning that they are back to dominate world badminton next year.
The duo put up a fantastic show yesterday to end the hot streak of South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung, winning the men’s doubles final of the Super Series Masters Finals 21-18, 21-14.
The odds were heavily stacked against the Malaysians to beat the All-England champions, who had won the last two Super Series tournaments in China and Hong Kong. But they turned the tables on the Koreans with superb attacking play.
The efforts of Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the Finals was worth US$42,000. En route to their first major title this year, they defeated all the top pairs and the success will be a tremendous boost to their confidence.
It was the Malaysians’ second international title this year after the Macau Open in October.
Despite the big win, there was no big celebration from Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“I think that having not won a big event for a long time, we did not know how to celebrate. But this win means a lot to us,” he said.
“We did not drop a single match in this tournament even though the field was a very intimidating one. And that has given us a lot of confidence.”
Kien Keat added that they had learned to trust each other better in good and bad times and that had led to their comeback.
“We trust each better and we are more relaxed. We cover each other’s weaknesses. It is not a show of an individual but two people who want the same things,” said Kien Keat.
“Now we know how to handle the situation when we are down. And we know how to cope when we are winning. This will help us to go far.”
Boon Heong said that they hoped to keep up with their momentum.
“What a surprise it has been for us to end the year by winning this title even though we are not in the best of condition. We can do better than this with better training,” he said.
“I hope I can maintain playing like this. Our next stop is the Malaysian Open, which is just over two weeks away. The real challenge is to stay consistent.”