BUKIT JALIL: Malaysia used to be a force to be reckoned with in the men’s doubles, and in the past few years the hope of seeing those glory days again became dim.
However, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem’s performance at the Maybank Malaysian Open is set to be the catalyst for many more victories in the men’s doubles department.
On Sunday, the Malaysian pair downed China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei 21-19, 21-18 to lift their first Malaysian Open title. It ended Malaysia’s four-year wait for a Super Series title, which was last won by Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in 2010.
National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang described the victory as a breakthrough and a boost for the team and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
Although only time will tell if Malaysia can continue with this momentum and regain their dominance in the men’s doubles, Cheh Chang is confident it is a great start.
“This is a big step for us after struggling in the last few years of not winning the men’s doubles title. This is certainly good for BAM and the whole team as it gives us the motivation to work harder,” said Cheh Chang.
However, he is quick to point out that the players will need to move on from this victory and focus on their next tournament as their opponents will come back stronger after studying their weaknesses.
“I hope the younger players will improve in their preparations to cope with the mental aspect of the modern game. They will need to control their thoughts and improve their mental strength,” he said.
“Expectations are always high for us to win. We need to turn that pressure into positive energy to play at our best,” said the 40-year-old.
Cheh Chang said that team unity is also vital.
In the recent Malaysian Open, some players showed a lack of fighting spirit. They gave in to pressure when they watched their team-mates fall early in the tournament.
“We used to have strong unity in the team and that is what is truly missing now. We are working towards producing that same feeling in the team again, and we will need all the support we can get.
“The support from the coaches, BAM, players, and whoever is involved, will play a crucial part in our hope to soar again,” said Cheh Chang.
The shuttlers will now prepare for the All England Open taking place from March 4-9 in Birmingham.