Monday, July 30, 2012 | | By: Febi

Avoiding victory?

 AT STAKE: Win would force Koo-Tan to meet Korean bogeymen 

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Kien Keat-Boon Heong (left) don’t have a good record against Sung Hyun-Yeong Seong, having beaten them just once in seven meetings.


KOO Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have a miserable record against Chung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae, with the South Koreans winning 12 of their 14 previous meetings but the Malaysians may not be in the mood to narrow the gap when they clash in their London Olympics final group match today.

At stake will be tag of Group D winners, with both pairs having already sealed their quarter-final berths but a twist in the tale is their potential opponents from Group B in the last eight.

Thai pair Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit have stunned the men's doubles competition at Wembley Arena by beating the higher ranked Ko Sung Hyun-Yoo Yeong Seong of Korea and Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan-Bona Septano, which means either one pair will be eliminated as they played each other late last night.

Had Sung Hyun-Yeong Seong won, the best they can finish in Group B is second as the Thais sealed top spot after they were awarded a walkover by Adam Cwalina-Michal Logosz yesterday, meaning today's match between Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Jae Sung-Yong Dae could be reduced to a tie which neither pair want to win.

The Malaysian camp was aware of the permutations as soon as Kien Keat-Boon Heong had beaten Americans Howard Bach-Tony Gunawan on Sunday.

"It will be interesting to see how the Koreans react as Sung Hyun-Yeong Seong were not expected to be in this position. We can be sure that Korea won't want their pairs to meet in the quarter-finals," said Malaysian team manager Ng Chin Chai.

Malaysia are sure to weigh their options though for Kien Keat-Boon Heong don't have a good record against Sung Hyun-Yeong Seong, having beaten them just once in seven previous meetings.

Their record against Mohammad-Bona is a little better, having won two of their five meetings while they have never played the swashbuckling Thais.

Kien Keat said he wasn't bothered about who they could potentially meet as he felt there were no easy games in the Olympics.

"We have to beat the best if we want to win and that is what we have to focus on," said Kien Keat.

The team management probably believe otherwise as what matters now is a place in the semi-finals, but in laying their plans, they have to consider the semi-finals too as finishing second in Group D and, hopefully, advancing to the last four will probably mean a meeting with raging favourites Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China.

The reigning world champions are sure to finish top of Group A and Kien Keat-Boon Heong, unfortunately, have a 4-9 record against them with their last win coming in the All England last year.

Whatever Malaysia decide, it has to work for it would be a waste if Kien Keat-Boon Heong bow out due to poor planning.

Meanwhile, the campaign of mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying came to a premature end when they fell 21-14, 21-8 to China's Xu Chen-Ma Jin late on Sunday. Peng Soon-Liu Ying, touted as outsiders for a medal, meet Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand in their final group match today.

Men's singles defending champion Lin Dan sealed his place in the last 16 with an emphatic 21-8, 21-14 win over Scott Evans of Ireland while Japan's Kenichi Tago was a shock casualty, losing 21-18, 21-16 to Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunarathe yesterday.

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