PETALING JAYA: The country’s top mixed doubles partnership of Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin has been split up.
Kien Keat will be reunited with his old partner Wong Pei Tty in the Denmark Open Super Series, which will be held in Odense from Oct 20-25. The tournament will serve as a good warm-up ahead of December’s Laos SEA Games.
Kien Keat-Pei Tty have been named for the individual mixed doubles event in Laos together with the back-up pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
Men’s doubles ace Kien Keat will also continue partnering Pei Tty in all the major tournaments next year – Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships.
The duo had won the mixed doubles bronze medal at the Madrid World Championships in 2006 and the coaches believe they have what it takes to become a formidable pair once again.
This year, Kien Keat-Pei Tty combined once during the Sudirman Cup in Guangzhou, China, in May.
National mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan said the decision to split up the partnership of Kien Keat-Hui Lin, who are ranked 19th in the world, was for the best.
“Koo and Pei Tty are elite shuttlers and, at this stage, it’s easier for us to plan programmes for them together,” said Jeremy.
“Koo and Pei Tty, however, will have a short-term goal together. We are not grooming them for the next Olympic Games (in London in 2012) in the mixed doubles event.
“It is better for Kien Keat to give more attention to the men’s doubles event (with Tan Boon Heong). He will not have to go the distance in his partnership with Pei Tty because she has a wealth of experience.”
Jeremy said they were now looking for a compatible partner for the 20-year-old Hui Lin.
Hui Lin teamed up with Mak Hee Chun in the Terengganu Open last week and did well to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to eventual champions Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Pei Tty.
She is currently playing with her former world junior champion partner Lim Khim Wah at the Vietnam Open in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We decided that it would be best for Hui Lin to partner someone from her own age group. They will be groomed to make a mark at the London Games,” said Jeremy.
“In fact, I have until the end of November to test the mixed doubles combinations and name the compatible ones. I do not plan to make any changes next year.”
Currently, the others under his charge are Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei, Peng Soon-Liu Ying, Ong Jien Guo-Sabrina Chong and Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Lim Yin Loo.
Jeremy has dropped Mohd Razif Abdul Latif from the mixed doubles squad. Razif, who had partnered Khe Wei in international tournaments this year, will now concentrate only on the men’s doubles with Khoo Chung Chiat.
“The ongoing Vietnam Open is the last tournament for me to assess the mixed doubles players in a competition. After that, it will all be based on their commitment and attitude in training,” said Jeremy.