CRUCIAL: Kien Keat-Boon Heong must win a title before Olympics
FORMER national chief coach Yap Kim Hock remains adamant that Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong must win an international title before the Olympics if they want to secure a medal in London. Kim Hock said Kien Keat-Boon Heong used to be the World No 1 pair and have won numerous international titles, so they cannot set mediocre targets and still expect to strike it right in the Olympics.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong's last title was the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold in Alor Star 13 months ago. They will be competing in the same tournament next week followed by the Indonesia Open in Jakarta on June 12-17 before focusing on the Olympics.
Kim Hock was the head coach when Kien Keat-Boon Heong won the Asian Games gold in 2006, their first tournament together, but their career has nosedived in recent times and will be hard-pressed to win a medal in London if they don't buck-up.
"Kien Keat-Boon Heong must win a title before the Olympics. They have been No 1 and have won on many occasions. They must set high targets if they want to win a medal in the Olympics," said Kim Hock.
"Winning a title will give them the confidence and belief to face top opponents again.
"However, they must also overcome their weaknesses in order to win an international tournament. The chances are there to secure a medal in London but they must do the right things in training and during tournaments.
"Boon Heong is consistent but he must be more focused while Kien Keat must improve his attacking game, especially from the baseline.
"They have been stagnant for the last two years and need to do things differently in order to achieve different results."
Kim Hock added: Also, their relationship will improve if they start playing better as it's vital that the blame game must stop. It is still not too late but they must start thinking big and nail one of the big tournaments they are going to play before the Olympics."
Kien Keat-Boon Heong are currently playing in the India Open but winning there will be difficult due to the presence of All England champions Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae of South Korea. They will have a better chance in the Malaysia Open next week.
The Malaysian pair are expected to meet Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the final of the Malaysia Open which will be without the big names.