Boon Heong All Pumped Up

Boon Heong isn't worried about the title drought.
Boon Heong isn’t worried about the title drought.

TAN BOON Heong fears no one and reckons his chances of winning gold with Koo Kien Keat in the Olympics is very possible provided they carry their form in training into Beijing.

Indifferent form in training and tournaments, according to Boon Heong, hampered them previously and he said they have taken note of this and stayed focused.

The pair have gone nine months without an international title but Boon Heong said he isn’t worried about this aspect.

“Past records count for nothing in the Olympics. Even experience may not be a factor,” said Boon Heong yesterday.

The World No 5 pair have suffered one setback after another and Boon Heong wants to put everything behind him and make a serious attempt with Kien Keat in the Olympics.

“If we play to our true abilities, we can beat anyone.

Kien Keat and I have been performing well in training and if we do the same in Beijing, we have a chance.”

“We have beaten all the pairs before and we will not face any new threats in Beijing. I don’t really agree that experience is going to make a big difference because pairs making their debuts have won gold before.

“The most important thing for us now is that we have to stay focused throughout the tournament. I won’t be worried if we can maintain the kind of performance we are currently producing in training.

“Previously, we were different in training and tournaments. If we can overcome this particular weakness in Beijing, we won’t face any problems.”

Boon Heong’s comment on experience holds water as Indonesia’s Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan won gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics ahead of favourites Ha Tae Kwon-Kim Dong Moon of South Korea.

In turn, the Koreans were not the favourites in Athens four years later as they were constantly absent from tournaments due to injuries but struck form when it mattered and ended their career with Olympic gold.

Tae Kwon-Dong Moon’s true pedigree as champions made them successful despite struggling in their buildup to the Athens Olympics.

Kien Keat and Boon Heong have shown such promise, albeit for a short period in 2007, and the latter is hopeful of rediscovering it again in the Beijing Olympics.

 

New Straits Times

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