RIGHT TIME: Coach wants Kien Keat-Boon Heong to make semis in all events leading up to Olympics
THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) had initially allowed Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong to compete in tournaments without any setting targets but men's doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her wants them to make the semi-finals of the India Open which begins in New Delhi tomorrow.
The coach also wants Kien Keat-Boon Heong to target top four finishes in their remaining tournaments in order to reach peak condition in the Olympics in July.
After getting a free run since January, the pair's performance at the India Open will be evaluated.
The BAM. due to Kien Keat-Boon Heong's poor form earlier in the year, had to make adjustments to its programme and secretary Ng Chin Chai had even stated that results were not important in their run-up to the Olympics.
However, Kim Her feels the time has come for Kien Keat-Boon Heong to start delivering decent results which is vital if they are to fight for medals in London.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong begin their India Open campaign against England's Chris Adcock-Andrew Ellis before a likely meeting with China's Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan.
A quarter-final clash against another China pair Chai Biao-Guo Zhendong looms large, and a win will pit them against South Korean bogey pair Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae in the semi-finals.
"We didn't want to put Kien Keat-Boon Heong under pressure earlier but they have to start improving on their results. This is why I set them a semi-final target for the India Open. It is crucial they show progress if they want to peak in the Olympics," said Kim Her.
"They played well in the Thomas Cup qualifiers in February and All England in March but their form dipped after that. However, they have been working very hard over the last three weeks and are in good condition.
"This is the reason I believe they can make the semis in India by beating the two China pairs."
Kim Her added: "The Olympics is just three months away and this is the time for them to get quality results. It will be tough for them in London if they struggle in the preliminary rounds of their remaining tournaments."
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will play in the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru on May 1-6 and Thomas Cup Finals in Wuhan on May 20-27. The Indonesia Open Premier Super Series on June 12-17 will be their last event before the Olympics where badminton will be held on July 28-Aug 5.
Reaching the last four in New Delhi will also prevent Kien Keat-Boon Heong, currently ranked World No 8, from slipping down the ranking.
Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, who reached the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Championships in Qingdao, will also be competing in New Delhi.
They open against a qualifying pair before taking on Indonesia's World No 6 Mohammad Ahsan-Bona Sepatano.