BUKIT JALIL: National doubles shuttler Hoon Thien How is rallying his team-mates to lift the gloom in the men’s doubles department by ending a four-year rut at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The men’s doubles have failed to win any Super Series titles for the past four years since Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong nailed the home title in 2010.
This year, Malaysia will be represented by Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and independent shuttlers Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazri-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and all four will start from the main draw on Wednesday.
The others - Tan Yip Jiun-Yew Hong Kheng, Tan Chee Tean-Yin Wong Fai, Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi, Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Hafiz Hashim, Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock and Jagdish Singh-Roni Tan Wee Long are aiming to come through the qualifying round starting on Tuesday.
Thien How, who has done reasonably well over the last few months with Wee Kiong and currently ranked at 8th in the world, said that it was time for them to make Malaysia once again a force to be reckoned with in the doubles event.
“Four years is a long time and it would be great if we can erase the poor record,” said Thien How.
“It does not matter whether it is me and Wee Kiong or the other pairs but we should start winning again. We will support and push one another to accomplish this mission this year.
“It would be awesome if we could end that long wait here at the Malaysian Open.”
Thien How said that the men’s doubles is now quite open, with any of the top 15 pairs in the world having the ability to pull off an upset.
“Just look at the recent Korean Open. Two favourites, Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea and China’s Liu Xiaoling-Qiu Zihan, crashed out early.
“It is about taking one’s chances well and also staying injury-free,” he said.
During the Korean Open, Thien How’s partner Wee Kiong suffered a hip injury and the duo went down in the opening round last week. Wee Kiong is however now back on his feet.
In the Malaysian Open, Thien How-Wee Kiong and Khim Wah-V Shem face a tough time as they have been drawn in the same quarter as reigning Korean Open champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
Two other older Malaysian pairs, Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Fairuzizuan-Zakry, are in the top half of the draw with top seeds and defending champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and South Korea’s Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang.