Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Malaysia are almost dead in the badminton world, not to mention any other world sports like football until the doubles partnership of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong emerged. They ended the 25-year drought of the All-England double title and just won the Swiss Open last Sunday. They also just won the Asian Games gold medal in Doha last December as well as the Malaysian Open not too long ago. To me, the victory is not because of the efforts of the Badminton Association of Malaysia. They alone won't achieve anything. To me, there is only one reason why they can become so good so unexpectedly.

The reason to my strongest belief lies in their coach Rexy Manaiky. Many forgot about him but I remember him very fondly. His contribution seems to be not given praise for the pairs' great achievement but instead falls on BAM and the Malaysian government's effort to progress it. If so, why only this pair is strong now? It does not make sense if the sports ministry takes all the credit.

Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja was a pairing of legendary perfection. Their presence alone in the court brings fear to their opponents. They won anything the badminton world has to offer. They can start a serve smashing continuously until the opponents give up with fatigue. They can defend smashes after smashes with ease. Their speed, stamina and sharpness is scary. In fact, Malaysia should be overjoyed that Rexy is willing to be a coach for us.

Malaysia used to have a great pair too in Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang, who are slightly an earlier generation than Rexy-Ricky. It is because of Soon Kit's well-known temper that split the pair. During their prime, they were also world's best. Still, I live to see the best, fastest and formidable doubles pairing ever in Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja. They are still the most entertaining and exciting pairing I have in memory.

I wish this pairing the best, hopefully they will last long and won't split as well as not being hit by injuries. As long as the legendary coach, Rexy Mainaky is staying at the helm to coach the doubles, I will not be able to see anything stopping them.


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