Koo Kien Keat has often been labelled as the rebel without a cause in Malaysian badminton.
But the often misunderstood personality has been showing remarkable form in the ongoing London Olympics.
If one was to observe he has a tattoo on his arm with Chinese characters that read “glory”.
” I hope to raise the arm in triumph when we win a medal at the Olympics so that all can see that the glory is ours,” chuckled Koo when asked by this blogger.
Critics have been hitting hard at him and often coaches and officials are at wits ends trying to understand and handle his mood swings and temperament , be it on or off the court.
But the ten days he spent in Bath prior to the London Olympics has given him fresh perspective on just how to bring the best out of him.
“People often say that I am no longer the player or the person I was when I won the Asian Games gold medal in Doha in 2006,” he said after the quarterfinal match on Thursday at Wembley Arena.
“That really got me thinking what has changed in me.
“So I sat alone in my room in Bath and reflected on things, watching videos of the matches of 2006 and 2007.
“I realized I was not playing in the same manner I played then, my game had changed.
“I was playing to how people wanted me to play and not playing what I ought to be playing. The element of fun was no longer in the game but pressure replaced it.”
Koo revealed that his actions were often misconstrued, that he was not good at taking instructions and keeping with tactics decided.
“I am what I am, that I cannot change, friendly, approachable and often jest on court,” revealed Koo.
“But my antics on court are to relieve tension and not aimed at mocking anyone, not even my opponents.”
Preparations for the semis clash are ongoing as Koo and his parter Tan Boon Heong are trying to find chinks in the amour of the mighty Chinese.
“We will be the underdogs this time around and really there is no pressure on us at all,” said Boon Heong.
“We have nothing to lose so will be relaxed on court. It’s a matter of playing the right tactics and cutting down on mistakes.
“One step away from a medal and that’s motivation for us.”