By Rajes Paul
Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong’s request to train under coach Pang Cheh Chang has been granted.
Now, all that the men’s doubles pair have to do is step up and be counted in their bid to turn their game around before next year’s Olympic Games in London.
On Friday, Kien Keat-Boon Heong lost 21-15, 16-21, 13-21 to South Koreans Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae in a 66-minute match in the China Masters at Changzhou. It was their first tournament without Rexy Mainaky as their coach.
Looking ahead: Pang Cheh Chang will help Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong prepare for the Japan Open.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong came under fire after an uninspiring performance in the World Championships in England last month. They then parted ways with Rexy, their coach for the past five years, and asked the BA of Malaysia to allow them to train under Cheh Chang.
Yesterday, new doubles head coach Tan Kim Her said that Kien Keat-Boon Heong would officially train under Cheh Chang after next week’s Japan Open in Tokyo.
Cheh Chang was with Kien Keat-Boon Heong in China. He, however, will not join them in Japan. Cheh Chang will return home tomorrow to hold talks with Kim Her and Rosman Razak, the other doubles coach, on plans to beef up Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s training programme for the Olympics.
“Both the elite and back-up men’s doubles players will now train together in the first hour of the training session every day. After that, Kien Keat-Boon Heong will have a more personalised training under Cheh Chang,” said Kim Her.
“Cheh Chang will be responsible for their training but he will be in constant communication with me. Rosman will also be helping out in training. We will give Koo and Tan all the help that they need to get them all fired up. Their ultimate goal is the Olympics.
“These players have to play their part too by giving their all in training and tournaments.
“We have three coaches in the men’s doubles and I hope all players will show their eagerness to learn from us,” added Kim Her.
When contacted in China, Cheh Chang said he was happy he had a chance to watch Kien Keat-Boon Heong in action.
“They showed a strong desire to win. But there are still some areas that we need to work on. I will focus on improving their speed and power on court,” said Cheh Chang.
Cheh Chang added that he would help Kien Keat-Boon Heong prepare for the Japan Open.
“They asked me to train them yesterday (Saturday) and today even though it’s their birthdays (Kien Keat and Boon Heong will be 26 and 24 respectively). They are very committed. Hopefully, they will give a better account of themselves in Japan,” said Cheh Chang.
At the Japan Open, which begins on Wednesday, Kien Keat and Boon Heong are seeded third. They are in the same half of the draw as top seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, Indonesians Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan and Japan’s Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata.
Courtesy of The Star