Koo Kien Keat &amp Tan Boon Heong

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong is the current world no.5 ranking (2012) in badminton doubles.

They were relatively young when they gained world recognition by winning the All England Badminton Championships gold for the men doubles category in 2007.


Player Profile
Best BWF World Ranking : 1
Kien Keat’s Date of Birth : 18 September, 1985
Boon Heong’s Date of Birth : 18 September, 1987
Specialty : Defence
Country : Malaysia

It was the decision of former Olympic champion Rexy Mainaky from Indonesia (coach for the Malaysian national badminton squad) to put these two young players together in 2006.

In 2006, Koo was 21 years of age and Tan was 22 years of age.

Once the Malaysians were paired together, they made it to the finals of the Japan Open in 2006. Then played in the Doha Asian Games 2006 and won the Gold medal.

In 2007, they started the year strong and won the first tournament of the year, the Malaysian Open.

They were the first qualifiers to win the Malaysian Open. Qualifiers are non-seeded players and are ranked very low in the BWF world ranking system.

In order to play in a tournament, qualifiers will need to compete in a qualifying round (usually one day before the first day of a tournament) in order to enter the first round of the tournament.

Moving on, they shocked Malaysian badminton fans by winning the GOLD title in the All England Badminton Championships 2007, after defeating the world champions, Cai Yun and Fu Hai Feng in 2 straight games.

They were the first Malaysians in 25 years to win an All England title.

In 2007, Koo and Tan won a total of 4 Super Series tournaments.

Just when badminton fans witnessed the rise of these superstars, things started to change.

The Malaysian combination performed very well during 2006 and 2007. However, they experienced a long drought until 2011. In 2011, the pair DID NOT manage to win a single title.

They had somehow lost their form or were less motivated to compete in tournaments.

Perhaps it came down to mental strength. No one knows the reason for their poor performance in the last 3 years.

I am a fan of this Malaysian pair. I hope this is a temporary setback for them and they will continue winning titles from 2012.

Greatest Opponents

Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were very inconsistent in winning their badminton games over the years.

As such, it’s hard to tell who their greatest opponents were.

Over the years, they have beaten badminton champions such as Cai Yun and Fu Hai Feng, but have also lost to non-seeded pairs.

If you have any information regarding Koo and Tan’s greatest opponents, feel free to share it HERE.

Style of Play

Koo Kien Keat
With Koo possessing the technical skills and Tan with the ability to produce powerful shots, their favourite attacking formation is to have Koo at the front and Tan hitting at the back.

Koo loves to be different from the norm. His style of play at the front of the court is amazing.

You’ll never know what he’s going to do. His net shots are dynamic and can produce very deceptive shots.

Peter Gade may be the ‘god’ of badminton deception in singles, but if there is recognition for deception in doubles, Koo would be the one.

Whether Koo plays at the front or at the back of the court, he likes to mix things up and vary the style of his shots.

Koo Kien Keat is a very talented badminton player who enjoys playing the sport at the highest level.

For a young player like him, he possesses great technique. At his best form, Koo’s games are extremely entertaining to watch.

Koo is an extremely deceptive player. In badminton doubles, deception is often less effective as compared to a singles game. You’ll need to deceive 2 players instead of 1!

If you manage to deceive one opponent, the other opponent will be able to cover his partner.

As such, deception was not very popular in a doubles game.

Koo went against this concept. He decided to play very differently. He’s the player who made badminton so COOL to watch.

Koo is not able to produce powerful smashes as compared to his partner, but his skills in setting up rallies often favours them in badminton rallies.

Tan Boon Heong
For this Malaysian pair, Tan Boon Heong is more of a power player whereas Koo Kien Keat is the skilful one.

Koo is the one who sets up chances for his partner, enabling Tan to smash from the back of the court.

Tan Boon Heong has recorded the fastest smash in the world performed off-court. The speed test was recorded by a Yonex representative and was done for purely commercial purposes. Tan’s fastest hit was 421 km per hour.

Imagine how fast that is!


Tan Boon Heong
First let’s talk about Tan’s specialty. It’s definitely his powerful smash.

In official badminton competitions, Fu Hai Feng is no doubt the fastest smasher in doubles. However, Tan Boon Heong’s smashes are psychically and psychologically threatening to his opponents.

Watch a video of Tan Boon Heong’s 421 km per hour smash, recorded off-court.

The shuttle speed was recorded by representatives from Yonex.

Koo Kien Keat
Now let’s move on to the badminton star, Koo Kien Keat (or widely known as KKK).

KKK has always been coming out with new stuff to entertain the crowd. Watch his unique style of play in the videos below.

In the video above, Koo was defending his opponents’ smashes while lying on the floor. This is an extremely risky thing to do in competitions but he executed it with perfection.

Are you ready to watch Koo’s deceptive shots? The videos below show you some shocking badminton deceptions by KKK.

In that rally, Koo executed a deceptive drop shot where it looked like he was going to smash, but hit a drop instead.

THAT was retrieved by the opponent. But the killer shot that finished the rally was Koo’s deceptive cross court slice. What a neat piece of skill. Not to mention, entertaining!

In the video below, see Koo performing at the front of the court.

Look at how deceptive and accurate Koo’s net shot was. It was the slice of his racket that sends the shuttle totally to the opposite side of Koo’s body. This kind of shot requires a lot of skill.

Overall, this Malaysian combination is well known for their defence.

Besides the Korean pair, Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yon Dae, Koo and Tan are probably the second best defenders in men’s doubles.

Watch a video on their awesome defensive skills below.

Tell me what you think!

What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.

Like Masterbadminton.com?