Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat
All-England Badminton Champion-20007
(photo- courtesy of NST)
UPDATE (13 March) : Read here for more
Three titles in just five tournaments over a period of five months is an incredible achievement for any pair by any standards.END OF UPDATE
Kien Keat-Boon Heong claimed the first Asian Games gold medal for Malaysia in 36 years in Doha last December. In the Malaysian Open in January – they became the first qualifiers to lift the title.
Another good showing in the Swiss Open this week could see the world number 32 edging inside the top 10.
But doubles coach Rexy Mainaky is determined to keep the young hotshots level-headed in their pursuit for more glory.
Rexy said that he was pleased to see that Kien Keat-Boon Heong have their feet firmly on the ground despite claiming one of the most prized trophies at stake.
“There was no arrogance. They were humble as they accepted wishes from many people and I hope they will continue with this attitude. There will be all kinds of distractions for champions and I hope they will remain focused,” he said.
Rexy said that Kien Keat-Boon Heong would now be under great scrutiny in every tournament.
Read here for more and Here and Here
".... I believed doubles chief coach, Rexy Ronald Mainaky, should be given the full credit for grooming this pair of All England champion and a possible world champion. Nobody since 1982 had been able to drill a player to such great height.
.....Rexy was so dedicated to winning and totally focused on his mission. He doesn't care about power and politics; he doesn't care about what he earns; he wants results and nothing short of a championship medal at the All England and the World Championship.
Did Malaysia win? Ya; but it was the Indonesian that had given us the win. Thanks Rexy and congrats Koo and Tan, for without a combined and sustained effort, there can be no winners. Will all the other players and coaches learned a lesson? Will other sports learned from this?..."
(Rexy Ronald Mainaky - born 9 March 1968- is a male badminton player from Indonesia who is known as Rexy. He is a former world Champion and Olympic champion in the men's double with his partner Ricky Subagdja. He and his partner Ricky won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA and they won in the final Badminton World Champion in Laussane 1995, they defeated Denmark men's double J.H.Christensen/Thomas Lund. Now he is coaching Malaysia men's double. He was coaching for England before Malaysia. )
Malaysians Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong ended Malaysia’s 25-year wait for a men’s doubles title in the All-England badminton championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham , UK after beating world champions and top seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China 21-15, 21-18 in a 38-minute battle.
The title was last won by the Sidek brothers – Jalani and Razif -- in 1982.
The Malaysian pair did not drop a single game in the competition.
Jalani Sidek said the Malaysians won because of their superior tactical game.
"I knew this pair would win the title for us. The Chinese were good in attacking too but our Malaysians were superb in both attacking and tactical play. Kien Keat played brilliantly and Boon Heong certainly did not show his inexperience at all playing in his first All-England," said Jalani.
National chief coach Yap Kim Hock was thrilled over the outstanding achievements of the pair, who were playing in only their fifth international tournament.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has congratulated Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong for bringing home the All-England men’s doubles title after 25 years.
An aide said the Prime Minister called the pair soon after the match played in Birmingham, England, was over.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said the pair’s triumph was exciting “ because the players are not ranked and are newly-paired.”
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting congratulated the pair in a statement released on Monday. Ong said that the 'Malaysia Boleh' spirit show-cased by the duo, coupled with excellent techniques, professional collaboration, confidence as well as determination, were factors that led to the victory. Ong said the overwhelming support shown by the people of Malaysia during the game, regardless of race and religion, was a big boost to the national pair's confidence level.
Razif Sidek, who with his brother Jailani were the last Malaysians to win the title 25 years ago, said: “I have waited for this moment for too long. This is one record that I am happy to have broken.”