MALAYSIA’S independent men doubles players – Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng – were blown away in the first round of the World Championships yesterday.
But they are not ready to bid farewell to the game – just yet.
Veterans Tan Fook-Wan Wah went down 15-21, 21-18, 23-21 to 2005 World champions Tony Gunawan-Howard Bach of the US in 43 minutes while Chong Ming-Choon Eng took the same amount of time to lose 21-18, 15-21, 16-21 to Japanese pair Naoki Kawamae-Shoji Sato.
Tan Fook-Wan Wah had saved Malaysia the blushes at the last world meet in Kuala Lumpur when they reached the semi-finals but yesterday, they could not lift their game after trailing 11-17 in the decider.
They dug themselves out of the hole to level at 19-19 but they just could muster the right moves during the crucial stages.
Tan Fook was dejected after their worst outing in the world meet.
“It was little mistakes that made the difference for us. But the credit also should be given to the Americans, who played well,” said Tan Fook.
Wan Wah said that luck was not on their side but the defeat will not speel the end of their career.
“We made the mistake of allowing them to pull away easily. And then, we did have a chance towards the end but luck was on their side during the neck-and-neck fight,” he said.
“Our contract with our sponsor runs until next year. If we can still qualify, we will still give it a shot at the world meet again,” said Wan Wah.
For Chong Ming-Choon Eng, it too was their worst world meet outing and the former took the defeat badly.
They, however, plan to put their defeats behind and continue to improve on their world ranking when they get into action in the Macau Open next month.
The hope is now on Malaysia’s top two pairs – Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif to carry the challenge for Malaysia in the men’s doubles event.
Today, both pairs, who enjoyed first round byes, will take on Nigerians Ola Fagbemi-Jinkan Ifraimu and Japanese Yoshiteru Hirobe-Hajime Komiyamain in the second round.