Wednesday, April 7, 2010

TheStar news: Thien How hopes to be sixth time lucky with Soon Hock

KUALA LUMPUR: It could be sixth time lucky for national doubles shuttler Hoon Thien How.
The 24-year-old Thien How is on the right track to represent Malaysia in the Thomas Cup Finals with Ong Soon Hock if he can keep up with his momentum in international tournaments.
Soon Hock is the sixth player to partner Thien How since the latter joined the national senior team in 2005.

The duo have been hitting it off well since playing together last year. They reached the semi-finals of the Indonesian Open (last June) and, in January, they scored a famous win against defending champions Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung of South Korea in the Malaysian Open.
The duo have a chance to stake their claim in the Thomas Cup Finals squad if they can produce good performances at the Asian Badminton Championships in New Delhi, India, next week (April 12-18).
Thien How hopes that things will continue to get better with Soon Hock.
“He is my sixth partner and things have been going well for us. I think both of us are determined players and that strengthens our partnership,” said Thien How.
“I have partnered five others but never had a chance to play in a major tournament like the Thomas Cup Finals. There is a chance for me to do so with Soon Hock and, hopefully, this dream to play in the Finals will come true this time.”
Thien How made it to the senior team after winning the world junior title with Tan Boon Heong. However, his partnership with Boon Heong lasted about two years in the senior team.
He then partnered Chan Chong Ming, Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah and Lin Woon Fui respectively.
“I have only won one title – the 2007 New Zealand Open with Chong Ming.
“It will be nice if Soon Hock and I can end our title drought at the ABC meet,” he said.
The duo are drawn in the same half with second seeds Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata of Japan, fifth seeds Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea, Hendri Kurniawan Saputra-Hendra Wijaya of Singapore, Taiwan’s Fang Chieh-min-Lee Sheng-mu and compatriots Goh Wei Shem-Teo Kok Siang.
“There is a good chance for us to go far.
“Hopefully, we will stay focused and not take anyone for granted,” he said.
The other Malaysian pair – Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong – are in the top half of the draw with top seeds Chen Hung-ling-Yu Lang-lin of Taiwan, Kenichi Hayakawa-Kenta Kazuno of Japan and South Koreans Han Sang-hoon-Hwang Ji-man.

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