THE withdrawal of Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan from the All England, beginning in Birmingham on Tuesday, has further increased Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong's chances of reclaiming the title.
Internal problems in the Indonesia BA (PBSI) have forced Markis-Hendra out but national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky, while admitting that it has become easier for the Malaysians to secure the title, has asked Kien Keat-Boon Heong to remain focused in every match.
All Rexy wants to see from Kien Keat-Boon Heong is they maintaining the form they have shown in training over the last few weeks as this should help them win the title which they captured for the first time in 2007.
"Markis-Hendra's absence means Kien Keat-Boon Heong have one tough opponent less to handle in Birmingham. However, they were only supposed to play the Indonesian pair in the final and this means there is still plenty of work to do," said Rexy before leaving for Birmingham yesterday.
"Kien Keat-Boon Heong have shown excellent commitment in training and my wish is to see them perform the same way in the All England. If they can achieve that, they have a realistic chance of winning.
"In terms of preparation, I'm quite pleased with the players this year and we can look forward to a fine outing in Birmingham.
"I also hope that Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari are motivated to regain their form while (Wong) Pei Tty-(Chin) Eei Hui should be boosted by their elevation to World No 1 rather than taking it as additional pressure."
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the third seeds, open against England's Richard Eidested-Andrew Ellis before meeting Candra Wijaya-Joko Riyadi of Indonesia in the second round.
They should also overcome Matthias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the last eight to set up a semi-final showdown against either Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun of China or Danish second seeds Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen.
It could turn out to be an all-Malaysia final as Zakry-Fairuz, who were supposed to meet Markis-Hendra in the semis, may play South Korean scratch pair Lee Yong Dae-Shin Baek Cheol in the last four.
Zakry-Fairuz meet Yonathan Dasuki-Rian Sukmawan of Indonesia in the first round, and are likely to play Anders Kristiansen-Simon Mollyhus of Denmark next before setting up an expected quarter-final clash against England's Nathan Robertson-Anthony Clark.
Pei Tty-Eei Hui, despite being the second seeds, have received a raw deal as they must beat three pairs from China -- Pan Pan-Tian Qing, Zhang Yawen-Zhao Tingting and Olympic champions Du Jing-Yu Yang -- in the second round, quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
However, it is Kien Keat-Boon Heong who hold the key for a Malaysian triumph and Rexy is quietly confident his top pair will not let him down this time.