NOT GIVING UP: Title is within reach despite pair's recent problems
AS far as Tan Boon Heong is concerned, competing in the Olympics is only about winning gold and that is exactly what he and partner Koo Kien Keat are aiming for in London.
Their recent form suggests otherwise but Boon Heong, who will be featuring in his second Olympics, said he has stopped fretting about that.
Neither is he worried about their weakness in defence, preferring instead to focus on their attacking prowess, which he is confident will bring them Olympic joy.
"The target is gold. That is why everyone wants to play in the Olympics. Our form has been like this (inconsistent) for some time now but we have to try and win, no matter what condition we are in," said Boon Heong, before leaving for London on Thursday.
Boon Heong admitted the quality of their rivals has improved since the 2008 Games but said that every pair has ups and downs while several other factors will also come into play when the battle for gold begins at the Wembley Arena on July 28.
The main contenders for the title are China's Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng and Chung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae of South Korea. Defending champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia failed to qualify.
"The chances are still there for gold as no one can say for sure that the title is theirs. There have been so many surprises in the Olympics and Markis-Hendra were also not favoured to win in 2008.
"So many other elements also have to betaken into consideration. The pressure will be immense and even top pairs can find the going tough.
"Sometimes, the speed of the shuttle can change the course of a match. Cai Yun-Haifeng are good in attack but if slower shuttles are used, they will also struggle. Jae Sung-Yong Dae are good in defence but they still have to attack to kill the rallies.
"As for me, I just don't want to focus too much on our weakness because it is too late to improve our defending. Our strong point is attack and we will rely on that.
"We must make sure our condition is good and we also need to be smart in varying our attacking game."
This is the third year running that Kien Keat-Boon Heong are undergoing a training stint at the University of Bath before a major event.
They reached the final of the World Championships in Paris in 2010 and they will be hoping that the current stint pays dividends and they return with, if not gold, a medal.