KUALA LUMPUR: For Malaysia, the main focus at the Indonesia Open, which begins today at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, will be on the women's doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty.
They are the only Malaysian Olympic-bound shuttlers competing in the sixth leg of the Super Series.
The others in the fray for the Beijing Games – Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann, Wong Mew Choo, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah – have opted out of the tournament.
Of the Malaysian players for the Olympics, world number 11th Eei Hui-Pei Tty are the only ones who have yet to show any positive sign towards their preparation for the Games in August.
In Open tournaments this year, they have only made one quarter-final appearance.
“The coaches felt that Eei Hui-Pei Tty still needed to play more competitions. There had been a setback in their partnership because of Eei Hui's injury. But they have made steady progress,” said national chief coach Yap Kim Hock.
“In the Olympics, it is only a draw of 16 for the men's and women's doubles events. If Eei Hui-Pei Tty can go the extra mile, they can fight for a bronze medal.”
In the Indonesian Open, the duo will take on Denmark's Christinna Pedersen-Mie Schjoett-Kristensen in the first round today.
They are in the same half of the draw as Indonesians Vita Marissa-Lilyana Natsir, a combination whom they have never beaten before, and Chinese top seeds Wei Yili-Zhang Yawen.
In the absence of defending champion Chong Wei, who won the Singapore Open title on Sunday, second seed Bao Chunlai of China is the favourite for the title.
Malaysia will bank on the Hashim brothers, Roslin and Hafiz, Yeoh Kay Bin and KLRC Bhd's Lee Tsuen Seng and Sairul Amar Ayob.
Singapore Open champions Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari have a good chance to make it to the men's doubles final. They are tipped to play against Indonesians Alven Yulianto-Luluk Hadiyanto in the semi-finals.
The top seeds are world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, in the qualifying tournament yesterday, Malaysia's former internationals Allan Tai and Pei Wei Chung went down in first round matches.
Allan lost 21-23, 22-20, 4-21 to Thailand's S. Poompat while Wei Chung was beaten 14-21, 10-21 by Indonesian youngster Alamsyah Yunus.