HOON Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong’s hopes of playing in the Super Series Finals have been fulfilled but at the expense of compatriots Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.
Kien Keat and Boon Heong, who had qualified for the event which begins in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow, were forced to withdraw after the former suffered an eye infection over the weekend.
This piece of news paved the way for the in-form Thien How-Wee Kiong, the first reserves in the men’s doubles, to compete in the event by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Sunday.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, who won their first career title in the Macau Open 10 days ago, have outperformed Kien Keat-Boon Heong in tournaments over the last two months and were initially disappointed for missing out on a place in the Super Series Finals.
Although it was not in the manner by which Thien How wanted to qualify for the event, he has taken up the challenge to gauge their standard against the top field competing this week.
"We had already given up and our focus was to do well in tournaments next year. It is not so nice to qualify at the expense of our teammates but we will give our best against the top pairs," said Thien How.
"Since we have been playing in a lot of tournaments, we have not been able to spend more time in training but we are confident of maintaining our current form.
"It is a top class field and we will utilise the opportunity to bridge the gap with the best.
"We are ranked World No 8 and had we not played, our ranking would have dropped. Now, we can look forward to improving our ranking."
Thien How-Wee Kiong played in the Super Series Finals last year but were eliminated in the group stage.
The other pairs who have qualified for the event are Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun-Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ki Jung-Kim Sa Rang, Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, China’s Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan, Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa and Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata.