Senior pairs stay put


NATIONAL men’s doubles coaches Paulus Firman and Pang Cheh Chang will not reshuffle their seniors as the move is not going to help create world class combinations.

The seniors mentioned are World No 5 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and World No 13 Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How while the rest of the current combinations, including World No 16 Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah will be paired off with new partners.

Cheh Chang, who was promoted as the men’s doubles coach two weeks ago, said creating younger pairs who are not only able to beat the two senior combinations but also challenge the top combinations will be crucial if Malaysia are to battle for gold in the 2016.

This is the reason the reshuffling exercise will be concluded tomorrow and the new combinations be announced on Saturday. This will be followed by a ranking trials, to be held next week, which will be the basis to create a new tournament plan for them.

Both coaches want to start the ball rolling early so that the pairs get sufficient time to progress and are ready to face the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with confidence.

V Shem may get his wish to resume his combination with Teo Kok Siang while Khim Wah is expected to partner Ow Yao Han while Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi could also be tested for a longer period.

Kah Ming and Ee Yi, whose current partners are Yao Han and Nelson Heg respectively, defeated Wee Kiong-Thien How in the semi-finals of the Kuala Lumpur Open last weekend.

"Reshuffling the two senior pairs is not going to help us identify potential combinations who can fight for medals in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. We have to start with the younger players and we have to start it as early as possible," said Cheh Chang.

"If the young combinations can beat Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Wee Kiong-Thien How, the seniors will also start working hard to maitain their position in the national team and eventually, the quality of our pairs will improve.

"We will finalise everything by this weekend and the trials will be held next week. The trials will be used to come with tournament plan for them.

"Initially, they have to go for lower level tournaments but gradually they will be entered for super series events.

"If we start them now, there is sufficient time for them to qualify for the major events next year. We are also looking for another two more strong pairs that will help our cause in the Thomas Cup."

Chen Chang said there is a possibility one of the new pairs could be playing in the Myanmar Sea Games in December as Kien Keat-Boon Heong might be competing in the Super Series Finals in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 11-15 which they are almost sure of making the cut.

The Sea Games badminton competition will be held on Dec 10-14 where Wee Kiong-Thien How are almost assured of a place and should V Shem-Kok Siang when confirmed as a new combination, are likely to be given the opportunity to compete in the regional event.

Both coaches are looking to establish another four quality combinations besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Wee Kiong-Thien How and will have another four more pairs from the junior ranks joining the national team after the World Junior Championships in Bangkok on Oct 23-Nov 3.



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