INDONESIA have been dominating the Sea Games men’s doubles since 2003 but outgoing national coach Paulus Firman believes this can be ended in Myanmar next month.
Paulus, who ends his 10-month tenure as the men’s doubles coach this week, said Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra and Ricky Karanda Suwardi-Muhammad Ullinuha will find it hard to maintain Indonesia’s domination as they are inconsistent.
This, said Paulus, will give Goh V Shem-Teo Kok Siang and Lim Khim Wah-Ow Yao Han a chance to battle for gold, which was last won by Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah in Vietnam in 2003.
In fact, Indonesia have been almost unbeatable since joining the Sea Games in 1977 where only Razif Sidek-Jalani Sidek in 1985 and Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock (1995) made breakthroughs.
The Indonesia BA (PBSI) has allowed world champions Hendra Setiawan-Mohamad Ahsan to play in the Super Series Finals (Dec 11-15) which clashes with the Sea Games (Dec 10-14).
The other pair that will try to seize the opportunity in Naypyidaw are Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech.
"The men’s doubles in the Sea Games will be an open affair as Indonesia have left out Hendra Setiawan-Mohammad Ahsan. On paper, Angga-Ryan are tipped for gold but they are not performing consistently," said Paulus.
"V Shem-Kok Siang and Khim Wah-Yao Han have a rare opportunity to be crowned Sea Games champions if they battle without fear.
"V Shem-Kok Siang didn’t do well in the two tournaments they played in recently but Khim Wah-Yao Han have shown good progress and it is not beyond them to deliver a surprise in Myanmar."
It is rare for Indonesia to send their second stringers to the Sea Games and the national shuttlers must kick themselves if they fail to win gold, especially in the men’s doubles.