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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Badminton Tournament - Denmark Open

Kien Keat and Boon Heong's march towards the Men's Doubles Crown - Who can stop them?

With the dominating form shown by Kien Keat and Boon Heong in their quarterfinal match against Boe and Morgensen, it does beg the question - who can stop them?

Admittingly, Boe and Mogensen are no where near the top pairs in the world. They are the second stringers for Denmark. However, the scoreline, which indicated a fairly comfortable victory for Koo and Tan, dosen't correctly portray the nature of the game. Koo and Tan didn't score a comfortable victory. It was a no brainer. Koo and Tan, in fact, hardly raised a sweat in defeating Boe and Mogensen.

The first set ended in favor of Koo and Tan, who quickly ended the match as they started it. 21-14 does not indicate the domineering display of badminton by Koo and Tan. The second set was a closer one, with both pairs being the leader for limited amounts of time. However, on further inspection of the statistics of this match, it appeared that Koo and Tan smashed a lot less than usual, and went into sort of a defensive mode. It appears that Koo and Tan are using Boe and Mogensen as a practice 'toy', while they toyed around with them. Ultimately, after being tied at 14-14, Koo and Tan upped the pace, and went on to win 21-14 21-19.

Tipped to meet reigning world champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan tomorrow, who not only have lost 4 consecutive times out of the 4 prior meetings to this top Malaysian pair, but also have their own problems to deal with; they face stiff resistance from their own countrymen in this quarterfinals, one wonders whether Koo and Tan are indeed stoppable in their quest for the title. While one might argue that Koo and Tan might still lose to Cai and Fu, I beg to differ. While the last 2 meetings between these top two pairs have ended up in favor of the Chinese, it is only fair for me to remind you that these were played many months ago. Koo and Tan have found their newfound confidence, and it would take some really spectacular badminton from Cai and Fu to upstage Koo and Tan. Considering that Cai and Fu are going through a slump in their performance at the moment, it seems unlikely that Cai and Fu could beat Koo and Tan.

Nevertheless, the last thing we desire is for Koo and Tan to start being complacent, a trait that is prominent and notorious among Malaysian players. They should constantly play good badminton, and regard the matches one at a time. Only then, will they be able to consolidate on the number 1 spot they've just acquired.

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