Monday, July 30, 2012 | | By: Febi

Kien Keat-Boon Heong set for a real test when they face Koreans


KOO Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong have the chance to pick their opponents for the badminton men’s doubles quarter-finals.

After two wins, the Malaysian pair meet number two seeds Chung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae of South Korea in the last Group D match today.

Kien Keat and Boon Heong have been impressive with straight-set wins over Japan’s Naoki Kawamae and Shoji Sato and the US pair of Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan.
But Kien Keat said the real test would come against the Koreans, against whom the Malaysian duo have an abysmal record.

“We have done well so far and our confidence is high. But the higher ranked pairs are still to come,” he said.

“We can look at Group B and see who we want to play in the quarter-finals. If we top our group, we will meet the Group B runners-up. If we lose, then it will be the Group B winners,” he said.
Thailand’s Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongkit lead Group B after defeating both their South Korean and Indonesian rivals. They play Poland’s Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz in their last match and should win easily to be group champions.

That leaves the Korean pair of Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong to battle it out with Indonesia’s Mohamed Ahsanand Bona Septano for second place.

National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang said Kien Keat and Boon Heong should not worry too much about their quarter-final opponents just yet.

“The main thing is to keep winning. They may have already qualified for the quarter-finals but they must be prepared to play anybody,” he said.
“You may well end up the loser if you start choosing your opponents. They just have to play to win and move forward.

“Their game plan to attack has paid off but it’s always good to see how it stacks up against a top pair.
“The Koreans are number two in the world and there can be no better test than that.”
Kien Keat and Boon Heong have a dismal record against the Korean pair. They have met 14 times with Jae-sung and Yong-dae winning 12 of them.

The Malaysian duo’s only triumphs were in the 2008 Macau GP and 2010 World Championships.
It will certainly do Kien Keat and Boon Heong a world of good if they can upset the Koreans today. That would be a major fillip ahead of the quarter-finals.



- THE STAR

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