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Doubles set for revival with stronger rivalry (pic)

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Category: Badminton News Published: 08 January 2014
Posted by Hits: 9004

KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang is optimistic the healthy rivalry between Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem will revive Malaysia’s fortunes this season.

Malaysia have been starved off major Open titles from the men’s doubles department over the last three years.

Thien How-Wee Kiong defeated Khim Wah-V Shem in a closely-fought final in the National Grand Prix Finals at Putrajaya last month, sparking a promise that the country’s second and third-ranked pairs are set to snap at each other’s heels this year.

The two pairs will get to show who are better when they begin their campaigns in the season-opener Korean Open in Seoul on Wednesday.

World No. 8 Thien How-Wee Kiong have been drawn in the lower half of the draw with second seeds Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung of South Korea while world No. 16 Khim Wah-V Shem are in the top half with top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.

Cheh Chang is happy that there are more pairs stepping up to the plate. In the past, Malaysia depended heavily on world No. 7 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

“It is good to see some progress in the men’s doubles department. Thien How-Wee Kiong are more consistent with their performances while Khim Wah-V Shem are making a comeback.

“They have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I am glad to see renewed commitment from all of them. Their rise will also motivate our top pair (Kien Keat-Boon Heong) and put us in a good position ahead of the Thomas Cup Finals (in May in New Delhi).

“It has been a while since our doubles players won any major titles but I am confident that we can see some breakthroughs this time,” said Cheh Chang.

Malaysia have yet to win any Super Series titles since Kien Keat-Boon Heong emerged champions at the 2010 Malaysian Open. Malaysia only managed to taste success in the Grand Prix Gold events through Kien Keat-Boon Heong (2011 and 2012 Malaysian Open GP Gold), Khim Wah-V Shem (2013 Malaysian Open GP Gold) and Thien How-Wee Kiong (2013 Macau Open GP Gold).

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