They are often criticised for their performances on the court and antics off the court. But on the courts of the Wembley Arena this afternoon, Koo Kien Keat and tan boon heong showed glimpses of their past as they defeated Japan's Naoki Kawamae/Shoji Sato 21-12,21-15.
And the win has given the pair the confidence to seal their place in the last eight of the Olympics, a feat they can achieve if they defeat Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan of USA tomorrow (Sunday).
Their performance was a delight to watch as Koo controlled the net effectively, killing off the shuttle when given half a chance, agile on his feet and above all totally focussed at the task at hand.
"When I arrived in Bath, I was also skeptical of my fitness but these two weeks have changed things and now I feel lighter on the court," said Koo.
"This is a good start and I am happy with the performance, though I must say there are many areas we need to work on.
"Still it is a good start to our quest to make it into the last eight."
The duo hardly gave any chance to their opponents, peppering them with an attacking play that has been long missing.
Tan was willing to smash more and that largely contributed to them winning points as the Japanese pair did not know what hit them.
Although they have beaten the USA pairing in their only two previous meetings, Koo rather remain cautious.
"It was a long time ago that we defeated them and things could be different now. They were in Malaysia for sparring and have been playing well of late," said Koo.
"Thus we rather remain cautious and take it as a fresh challenge as they are an experienced pair, hence we cannot allow them to have the tactical upperhand."