The top Men’s doubles team of Malaysia Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong could not silence their critics and failed to register their mark in the opening round of Axiata Cup.
The World Number eight duo Kien Keat-Boon Heong put a below par performance against inexperienced Indonesian couple Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra and lost with score board flashing final figures of 21-10, 18-21 and 13-21.
This failure resulted in woeful loss of Malaysia Tigers against Indonesia’s back-up squad Rajawali in Axiata Cup.
Men’s doubles experts were already under severe criticism for their recent failures and they did not have a perfect start in this event also as they were not in prime touch while claiming the victory over Thailand in start of the event.
The 26-year-old member of the duo, Kien Keat definitely felt the heat after this new low as in start of the tournament he tagged this event as extended training session.
He said, “We know we didn’t play well because we were taking this tournament as part of our training and we were not in our tournament mindset.”
In round robin match with Indonesia Rajawali, the duo Kien Keat-Boon Heong had a vital role to play as the doubles encounter turned consequential after Hafiz Hashim’s failure and Daren Liew’s victory in the singles tussles but they could not rise to the moment.
This 2-1 defeat put the Malaysia Tigers in tough trial in semi-final where they will test their skills against top class shuttlers of Indonesia Garuda team.
The Malaysian shuttlers now will have to put all they have if they want to exceed prime shuttlers like Taufik Hidayat, Simon Santoso and the duo of Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan.
Meanwhile, the badminton maestro Lee Chong Wei, who could not lead Malaysia Tigers due to injury, gave his vote of confidence to his compatriots and hoped that they will surge into the final by beating Indonesia Garuda in the semi-final.
He said, “It doesn’t matter that we lost today as I’m confident we can still go to Jakarta and beat the Garuda team.”
Now, the men’s doubles team Kien Keat-Boon Heong will try to revive their old chemistry to end the losing streak on home ground as they are just four months away from the mega London Olympics and it is important for them to find their lost form.