THE writing is on the wall for doubles pair Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah.
With national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky having declared that the younger pairs are ready to take over from the seniors, this is a clearwarning to Tan Fook-Wan Wah that time is running out for them.
Tan Fook-WanWah, ranked World No 4, have been performing poorly since the World Championships in Madrid last September where they fell in the second round.
They also crashed in the second round of the China Open in October and were soundly beaten in the Copenhagen Masters last week by world champions Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun of China.
Rexy, in a telephone interview from Jakarta, said Tan Fook, 32, and Wan Wah 31, must realise that age is not on their side, and thus should regain their focus and form to match the younger players, The results of the younger players are better than Tan Fook and WanWahs. I believe the juniors are ready to take over from the seniors, said Rexy.
But Tan Fook and Wan Wah must take this challenge positively and dont think negatively.
It is not going to help them much.
I will set targets for them and it is their job to hit those targets. If they dont, other national pairs will grab the initiative.
They may survive at the moment because of their world ranking but if the slide continues, they may not qualify for the Super Series tournaments.
They must consider all this seriously. The rivalry among the shuttlers in the national team has heightened. Asian Games gold medallists Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Lin Woon Fui-Fairuzizuan Tazari, Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thien How and Gan Teik Chai-Zakry Latif are all looking for opportunities to compete in the super series and other major tournaments.
Tan Fook-Wan Wahwere also dealt a blow by Chong Ming-Thien How, who were playing their first tournament as a pair, when they beat the veteran pair in the Kuala Lumpur Open three weeks ago.
Rexy, who had already dropped Tan Fook-Wan Wah from the Doha Asian Games because of their poor form, will not hesitate to sideline the duo if they dont buck up.
(source: New Straits Time)