EXTRA CAREFUL: Kim Her makes early plans to pick only the best for World Championships
TAN Kim Her, who received much flak for the failure of the back-up pairs to qualify for the 2011 World Championships, has made early plans to ensure three national men’s pairs make the cut on merit for the major event this year.Professionals Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen were left disappointed when the BA of Malaysia (BAM) opted for Zakry Latif-Hoon Thien How, who were ranked lower, to join Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong for the tournament in London.
The incident put the national team in bad light and Kim Her, in particular, was under pressure as none of his back-up pairs managed to make it to the top 24 to earn automatic qualification.
Kim Her, the chief doubles coach, does not want this to happen again. Kien Keat-Boon Heong, ranked World No 2, will have Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, ranked World No 10, for company at the World Championships in Guangzhou on Aug 4-11.
Another national pair, Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, ranked No 19, are in a strong position to claim the third slot but with Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock (22), and Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari (23), are also involved in the race.
Kim Her is not leaving anything to chance. V Shem-Khim Wah will be competing in the German Open (Feb 26-March 3) and All England (March 5-10) and should they reach the quarter-finals in both tournaments, they should consolidate their position and claim the third slot.
"I did receive some criticism for the failure of the back-up pairs to qualify but this time, I have planned carefully so that three national pairs qualify for the World Championships on merit," said Kim Her.
"Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Thien How-Wee Kiong’s places are secure but V Shem-Khim Wah need strong results in the European tournaments. They must at least reach the quarter-finals in the German Open and All England which will put them in a favourable position.
"They are also entered for the Swiss Open (March 12-17) but if they do well in the first two events, they may not have to play there. They are also down to play in the Australia, New Zealand and India Opens in April as I don’t want to take any chances.
"The independent pairs will also get their opportunity if they perform better and the national pairs must really push for quality results in the coming tournaments to be considered for the World Championships."
V Shem-Khim Wah, who resumed their partnership in January after a six-month split, reached the last eight of the Korea Open super series premier and the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open.