KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her has stopped pitting Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong against each other in training ahead of the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, from Aug 5-11.
This is Kim Her’s way of being fair to them.
Barring any upsets, world No. 10 Thien How-Wee Kiong and world No. 17 Khim Wah-V Shem and are expected to face each other in the second round and Kim Her does not want to take sides.
The 11th seeded Thien How-Wee Kiong have a first round bye while Khim Wah-V Shem take on Scotland’s Martin Campbell-Patrick Machugh in their opener. If they do clash in the second round, the winners are expected to face four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China in the third round.
“It is an unfortunate draw for them. I am quite certain that they are likely to cross path in the second round. Khim Wah-V Shem should get the better of their Scottish opponents to set-up a meeting with Thien How-Wee Kiong,” said Kim Her.
“The good news is that one pair will make it to the third round. But then they will have to face Cai Yun-Haifeng. It will be a great challenge indeed.
“For now, I feel it is not right to get the Malaysians to play against each other in training. They may hold their punches and feel uncomfortable. I mix and match when it comes to them during training.
“Besides, we have brought along our back-up pairs (Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han and Teo Eei Yi-Nelson Heg Wei Keat) to Hong Kong and all our players have enough match practice.”
Besides Thien How-Wee Kiong and Khim Wah-V Shem, the other Malaysians competing in the men’s doubles are world No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and independent shuttlers Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif.
Meanwhile, Kim Her gave the thumbs up to the training facilities in Hong Kong. The Malaysian team have been training at the Hong Kong’s elite training centre since Wednesday.
“The facilities here are good. The venue is near our hotel, minimising our travel time. So far, all players and coaches are in good condition. The players are very focused in training,” said Kim Her.