KUALA LUMPUR: Former national doubles ace Lee Wan Wah may have skipped the ongoing All-England but he still has a shot at representing Malaysia for a record seventh time in the World Championships.
Wan Wah, who was the All-England runner-up twice with Choong Tan Fook in 2004 and 2006, also had to forgo the Swiss Open in Basel next week due to lack of fund.
Wan Wah-Tan Fook, who play as independent international players, are now ranked at No. 7 in the world and not playing in the two Super Series tournament could see them drop a few rungs in the rankings. They were semi-finalists in both tournaments last year.
The 35-year-old Wan Wah said that he was still hopeful of making the cut for the world championships scheduled for Aug 10-16 in India.
“Skipping the All-England and Swiss Open, we cost us a considerable amount of ranking points. But there is still a chance for us to make it if we stay within the top 24,” he said.
Two Malaysian pairs are ahead of them in the rankings — Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif (No. 5) and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (No. 6). Both p[airs are featuring in the All-England.
Malaysia now have another pair inside the top 24 — former national No. 1 Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng at No. 14.
The qualification period for the world championships end on April 30 and a country can have a maximum of four pairs if all of them are ranked among the top eight.
Three entries are allowed if all are inside the top 24 bracket.
Wan Wah said that he had one more tournament, the Indian Open from March 24-29 in Hyderabad, to ensure that they stay among the top 24.
“Tan Fook and I are still training together even though we have left the national team for some time. We are not going for the ABC (Asian Championships from April 7-12 in South Korea). We have do well in the Indian Open to confirm our place,” he said.
The best achievements for Wan Wah-Tan Fook in the world championships were semi-final finishes in 2001 (n Seville) and 2007 (Kuala Lumpur).
While the attention of world badminton is on the action in the All-England, Wan Wah and his Pioneer Sports Management business partners, Chong Ming and Choon Eng, took time off for a good cause yesterday.
The trio will be involved in a charity programme on March 21 at the Seri Petaling Community Hall. It is organised by CIMB Foundation and Seri Petaling Residents’ Association (SPRA) for the benefit of a school building fund, the Chinese Primary La Salle.
Said Chong Ming at a press conference yesterday: “We have represented the country for long time. The government and the fans have been very supportive. It’s our time to contribute back to the society.
“The public will get to partner one of us. All they have to do is to contribute RM1,000 for an opportunity to play with us (per match) in matches for charity. We also want to mingle with our fans, who have supported us all these years.”
The trio will also be involved in a five-day competition from March 18-22 at the same venue.
For more information on the charity matches and the local tournament, contact the SPRA president, Tan Tai Tong, at 03-90570388 or log on at