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Koo Kien Keat (born 18 September 1985 in Ipoh, Perak) is a former Malaysian professional badminton player. He succeeded in both men's and mixed doubles but is best known for his partnership with Tan Boon Heong with whom, he reached a career high ranking of world number 1.

Koo Kien Keat
Yonex IFB 2013 - Eightfinal - Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong — Michael Fuchs-Johannes Schöttler 05.jpg
Koo Kien Keat
Personal information
Country  Malaysia
Born (1985-09-18) 18 September 1985 (age 31)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight 75 kg (165 lb; 11.8 st)[2]
Years active 2003 - present
Handedness Right
Coach Lee Wan Wah
Men's doubles
Highest ranking 1 (11 October 2007)
Current ranking 13 (3 November 2016)
BWF profile
Updated on 10:50, 26 October 2013 (UTC).
Koo Kien Keat
Traditional Chinese 古健傑
Simplified Chinese 古健杰

In 2013, after a series of early round exits, Koo announced his retirement to become a coach for the Granular Club of Thailand. He later came out of retirement in 2015 and reunited with Tan on a bid to qualify for their third Olympic outing. Although their comeback was considerably successful, Koo and Tan narrowly failed to qualify for Rio 2016. Koo later reannounced his retirement citing the 2016 Hong Kong Open as his last match.


Badminton careerEdit


He played in the 2004 Thomas Cup with Chew Choon Eng. They gave a strong performance during the second doubles match against Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian of Indonesia in the quarter finals.

However, after the tournament, the Badminton Association of Malaysia decided to partner him with Chan Chong Ming who previously partnered Choon Eng. Later, they won the bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships.


He started to play with Tan Boon Heong. Together, they won the gold medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games as an unseeded pair. En route to the finals, they defeated several top pairs including Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.They are the youngest ever men's doubles pair to win an Asian Games gold medal at the age of 22 and 19 respectively.


2007 was the best year for Koo and Tan. They won several Super Series tournaments and climbed to the top of world rankings. They also won their first All England Super Series title after beating Chinese pair, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng in straight games.


They competed at the 2008 Olympics, reaching the quarter-finals.


The two won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships.


At the 2010 BWF World Championships, the pair entered the semifinals after beating Korean rivals Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung. In the semifinals they defeated China's Guo Zhendong and Xu Chen 21-14, 21-18. Tan and Koo became the first Malaysian pair to enter a World Championship final in 13 years. In the finals, they played China's Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng but lost 21-18, 18-21, 14-21. This year was the last year Koo and Tan ranked world number 1 but managed to remain in the top 5 until 2013.


At the 2011 All England Super Series Premier, Boon Heong and Kien Keat defeated 2008 Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan in the quarterfinals. They then defeated World champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 21-11, 23-21. They lost to the Danes and then world number 1 Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen 21-15, 18-21, 18-21. In doing so, they failed to win their 2nd All England title.


They competed at the 2012 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals losing to the eventual gold medalists, and then losing in the bronze medal match to the Koreans.[3][4]


They suffered a series of early round exits in 2013 and a three-year major title drought but managed to remain in the top 10 of the world rankings.


Koo parted with the Badminton Association of Malaysia and became a coach for the Granular Club of Thailand in early 2014. In August that year, Koo returned to play his last tournament with Tan at the 2014 BWF World Championships. Their supposedly last match together was in the third round where they lost to a Chinese Taipei pair with a score of 19-21 in the deciding game.


In 2015, Koo announced that he is coming out of retirement to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with Tan before they call it quits for good. They were sponsored by Seri Mutiara Development Sdn Bhd and playing for an independent club. They achieved several breakthroughs this year, winning the Russian Open, Dutch Open and finishing as runner ups at the Thailand Open. They also made it to two Super Series quarterfinals in Australia and Korea.


Koo and Tan managed to enter the top 15 of the world rankings. However, due to the new Olympic qualification requirement set by the BWF whereby each country can only send two representatives for each event only if they are both in the top 10 world rankings of their discipline and if they are not then only the highest ranked representative will contest, Koo and Tan narrowly failed to qualify for the Olympics. By the time the qualification period had ended, the two were ranked world number 14 just one rank behind compatriots Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong who were selected instead and went on to win the silver medal. In November, Koo reannounced his retirement from professional badminton, citing the Hong Kong open as his last tournament.

Personal lifeEdit

He began his studies at St. Michael's Institution in Ipoh, Perak. Later, he received an offer to go to Bukit Jalil Sports School, where he completed his secondary school studies and sat for the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examination. He married Audrey Tan Su Ven in 2013, and has a son, Dayson, who was born in 2014.

Playing styleEdit

Koo Kien Keat moves very fast around the net areas and is adventurous with deceptive shots. He also reacts very well on fast flat exchanges. A favourite formation is when he is on the front court and his partner, the main smasher, attacks from the rear of the court with powerful, left-handed smashes.

Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are an explosive and dynamic pair in their game style.

In 2010, they won their first title of the year in their home, Malaysia, as the world number 1 pair. They came in seeded number 1 in the All England but lost in the first round to Denmark former world champions Lars Paaske and Jonas Ramussen.

In the 2010 BWF World Championships they beat the young Chinese pair of Chai Biao & Zhang Nan in the quarter-finals and later their arch rivals, the South Koreans Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae, in 3 sets to reach the semi-finals. After that, they beat another Chinese pair of Guo Zhen Dong & Xu Chen to reach their first ever finals in world championship. The only other Malaysian pair to reach that far before them were Yap Kim Hock and Cheah Soon Kit.


Men's doublesEdit

Year Tournament Venue Round
2010 Asian Games   China Runner Up
2010 BWF World Championships   France Runner Up
Macau Open Grand Prix Gold   Macau Winner
2009 BWF World Championships   New Delhi Semi-finalist
Wilson Swiss Super Series   Basel Winner
Yonex All England Super Series   Birmingham Quarter-finalist
Macau Open Grand Prix Gold   Macau Winner
Proton Malaysia Super Series   Kuala Lumpur Second Round
Hong Kong Super Series   Wan Chai Quarter-Finalist
China Open Super Series   Guangzhou Second Round
French Super Series   Paris Quarter-Finalists
Denmark Super Series   Odense Winner
Macau Open   Macau Winner
Japan Super Series   Tokyo Third Round
2007 BWF World Championships   Kuala Lumpur Quarter-Finalists
Philippines Open   Manila Winner
Malaysian National Badminton Championships   Kuala Terengganu Winner
Indonesia Super Series   Jakarta Semi-Finalist
2007 Asian Badminton Championships   Johor Bahru Runner-Up
Swiss Open Super Series   Basel Winner
Yonex All England Super Series   Birmingham Winner
Yonex Korea Open Super Series   Seoul Semi-Finalist
Proton Malaysia Super Series   Kuala Lumpur Winner
2006 Asian Games   Doha Winner
Yonex Japan Open   Tokyo Runner-Up
Chinese Taipei Open   Chinese Taipei Semi-Finalist
Proton Malaysia Open   Kuching Winner
Singapore Open   Singapore Quarter-Finalist
2006 Commonwealth Games   Melbourne Winner
Swiss Open   Basel Winner
Denmark Open Winner
Indonesia Open Quarter-Finalist
2005 IBF World Championships   Anaheim Semi-Finalist
Proton Malaysia Open   Malaysia Quarter-Finalist
Siam Cement Thailand Open   Thailand Quarter-Finalist
2005 Southeast Asian Games   Manila Quarter-Finalist
Yonex German Open Semi-Finalist
Chinese Taipei Open   Chinese Taipei Winner
Singapore Open   Singapore Semi-Finalist
China Open   Guangzhou Quarter-Finalist
French Open International Winner
Malaysia Satellite Winner
Asian Junior Championships Winner
World Junior Championships   Johannesburg Semi-Finalist

Mixed doublesEdit

Year Tournament Venue Round
Malaysian National Badminton Championships   Kuala Terengganu Winner
Yonex Korea Open Super Series   Seoul Quarter-Finalist
2006 Asian Games   Doha Quarter-Finalist
2006 IBF World Championships   Madrid Semi-Finalist
2006 Commonwealth Games   Melbourne Semi-Finalist
Denmark Open Semi-Finalist
Djarum Indonesia Open   Jakarta Quarter-Finalist
Hong Kong Open   Hong Kong Semi-Finalist
2005 Southeast Asian Games   Manila Semi-Finalist
Djarum Indonesia Open   Jakarta Semi-Finalist
Singapore Open   Singapore Runner-Up
Chinese Taipei Open   Taipei Winner
China Open   Guangzhou Quarter-Finalist
2004 Asian Badminton Championships   Kuala Lumpur Quarter-Finalist
Asian Junior Championships Runner-Up


  1. ^ Biography (in Chinese)
  2. ^ Biography (in Chinese)

External linksEdit