“There is no turning back!” – Koo-Tan determined to seal Rio berth

Former national number one men doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are determined to achieve their mission of qualifying to the Oympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.

The pair, however, did question their ability to be back in top level action after deciding to exit Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to train on their own.

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“The first tournament (Australia Open) was tough, we had enough preparations but we were not on our best yet, feeling the pressure in the first three points,” said Koo, as quoted by Harian Metro.

Koo-Tan has been delivering few positives though, claiming the Sri Lanka International Challenge and the Russia Open title, besides progressing to the quarter finals of the recent Korea Open.

They also climbed up the world rankings, improving their previous 211 spot to a 52nd place now.

Koo, 30, admitted that they have been lucky in the financial aspect, with their sponsor Seri Mutiara Development Sdn Bhd providing RM2 million for the pair to qualify for Rio Olympics, besides always motivating them in every competition.

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“Our sponsors have been nothing but supportive, win or lose. I do thank them.”

“For me, even though the road to Oympics is tough, considering there is another Malaysian pair (Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong), we will still give it our best.”

“With everything that we’ve been through, there is no turning back. The focus on Rio Olympics is always there. We believe a top 16 spot is possible to achieve,” he added.


There are two ways to look at this.

  1. If ever Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong manage to qualify for Rio Olympics, the advantage would be on their side considering their vast experience in big tournaments. They have beaten few of world’s best doubles pair and they are still capable of reading the game well.
  2. However, both Koo and Tan are past their prime when it comes to speed and agility, which Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong have. The pair is young, energetic, fast and is currently Malaysia’s best hope in the men doubles category.

It would be interesting to see which pair qualifies for Rio, knowing that the pressure will be there for them to deliver a medal for the nation. Koo-Tan may be world beaters at some point, but maybe it’s time to pass the torch to someone else.



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