My rants about Malaysian players have been well documented (here that is). I’ve always complained about the lack of mental strength for all our players when it comes to reaching for the stars.
So Koo Kien Kiet and Tan Boon Heong has won the freaking thing. I’m not about the jump the bandwagon and start singing their praises, oh no. I’ve been bitten too many times in the past to fall for that. I remember the sort of joyous celebratory chants we were all participating in when we won Thomas Cup back in 92, when Hafiz Hashim won All England in 2003, when Chong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah reached the finals in 2004, and how Lee Chong Wei is our next saviour, yadda yadda yadda. All the talk about a renaissance since 92 has been nothing but just that: talk.
I’ve heard it all before!
I mean, come on. We’re talking about a nation where the national badminton association let Li Mao, arguably the best thing to happen to Lee Chong Wei, go because of bloody administrative red tape! So now we have to keep an extra eye out for Lee Hyun Il because Li Mao happens to know the whole Malaysian singles setup backwards. Not smart.
I’ve always believed that the Malaysian press has a hand in causing all the problems in Malaysian badminton. When Hafiz won, for instance, there was this disproportionate amount of media coverage on him, exulting him as one of our brightest stars in badminton since the Jurassic period, covering his intent on keeping himself ‘humble’ by enlisting in the local police force, etc, etc. I’d imagine him knowing that the whole nation is simply lapping up his every move may not have done his young mind any good.
So stop the crazy adulation! Yes, give them their due – they are a great pair to watch, and incredibly hungry for success. Yes, tell em to go kick more ass. But let’s not forget there are other badminton players out there.
I will say that this pair is the closest we’ve come to a renaissance – together for 6 months and winning 3 of the 5 tournaments they played so far. Precocious and supremely confident, we’ll see if their winning ways will strengthen their minds and self-believe, or will it feed into their egos and cause their downfall (in which case we just add another pair of names to our list of wanna-be heroes).
And I will also say Rexy is doing a brilliant job. Brilliant.