KUALA LUMPUR: Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong will be banking on the misfortunes of others to sneak into the men’s doubles event at the BWF’s World Super Series Finals at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium from Dec 11-15.
Only the top eight pairs qualify for the Finals and Thien How-Wee Kiong are now ranked eighth in the standings. The duo have no chance of improving their standings as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have not entered them for this week’s Hong Kong Open, which is the final leg of the 12-stop Tour.
Last week, Thien How-Wee Kiong recorded their best show in the Super Series when they reached the China Open final before losing to Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea. The Malaysians were ranked ninth before competing in the championships.
The seven pairs now ranked ahead of Thien How-Wee Kiong are Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae, Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China, Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa and Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata, Danes Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen and Malaysians Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong. A country can have a maximum of two pairs in the Finals if all of them are in the top-eight bracket.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, who lost to South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong on Sunday, hope lady luck will be on their side.
“It is beyond our control now as we are not playing in Hong Kong. We’ll just have to wait and see how the others fare,” said Thien How.
“Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung of South Korea are ranked ninth now. They have a chance to finish in the top eight if they do well in Hong Kong. We only have to hope that others will either falter or turn down the offer to compete in the Finals,” added Thien How.
World No. 2 Sung-hyun-Yong dae are no longer playing as a pair but they may decide to come back together just to play in the Finals as the tournament offers lucrative prize money. The doubles champions stand to win US$42,000 (RM134,000).
Besides Sa-rang-Ki-jung, the other pairs capable of finishing in the top eight are Indonesians Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra and Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpech. Angga and Ryan are placed 11th while Maneepong-Nipitphon are a rung below and all of them are chasing for points in the Hong Kong Open.