Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Key to the Asiad

PETALING JAYA: Back-up men’s pairs Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon-Lim Khim Wah have been given another shot to make the grade to play in their first major badminton tournament after muffing up the chance once this year.
One of them could make it to the squad for the Guangzhou Asian Games in November if they can produce consistently good results in three Open tournaments, beginning with the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold, which starts today in Johor Baru.
The two pairs will also feature in the Macau Open (July 27 - Aug 1) and Taiwan Open (Aug 3 - Aug 8).
Time’s up: Mak Hee Chun and Tan Wee Kiong have been another shot to make the grade.
Hee Chun-Wee Kiong and Peng Soon-Khim Wah were in the running for places in the team for the Thomas Cup Finals in May but fell out of favour because of the lack of outstanding results when it mattered most.
National doubles coach Tan Kim Her said that the race was open for the second doubles slot in the team for the Asian Games.
Currently, only world No. 1 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are assured of places in the team.
Besides Hee Chun-Wee Kiong and Peng Soon-Khim Wah, the others in contention for places are Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif.
Except for Fairuzizuan and Zakry, all the others are taking part in the Malaysian GP Gold. Fairuzizuan-Zakry will only have one stage impress the coaches – in the Macau Open.
Kim Her added that the panel of coaches would be able to decide on the second pair for the Asiad after the three back-to-back Open tournaments.
“They say opportunity does not knock on the door twice but our back-up shuttlers have been presented the chance to impress the coaches for consideration in the team for the Asian Games. We hope that they do not buckle under pressure again,” he said.
Peng Soon-Khim Wah did well to win their first international title when they defeated Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah at the Thailand Open last year but the duo had not been able to their game to a higher level even though they showed great commitment in training.
“We are not looking at one-hit wonders. We want to see steady performances from them in all three tournaments – in Johor Baru, Macau and Taiwan,” said Kim Her.
However, the draw in the Malaysian GP Gold is not kind to Hee Chun-Wee Kiong and Peng Soon-Khim Wah, who will take on each other in the second round if they beat Japanese Kawamae Naoki-Shoji Sato and Indonesians Wardana Tri Kusuma-Wijaya Komang Sandy respectively.
They are in the same half as defending champions Kien Keat-Boon Heong, world junior champions Ow Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng, Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Ong Jian Guo and Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen.
In the other half with former world and Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia are Hong Kong’s Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama-Wong Wai Hong, Indonesia’s Luluk Hadiyanto-Candra Wijaya, Japan’s Hiroyuki-Hayakawa Kenichi and Malaysia’s Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Soon Hock-Thien How.

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