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).
PETALING JAYA: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff admits that the challenge is for them to produce an heir to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.
But the outspoken president points out that BAM will not neglect the likes of Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren while focusing on the younger batch of players coming through the ranks.
Both Wei Feng and Daren were disappointing at the recent Malaysian Open, crashing out in the first round.
“It is BAM’s challenge to improve the quality of the backup squad and to produce world beaters in the future. We will definitely be working hard with the coaches to raise that standard,” said Tengku Mahaleel.
KUALA LUMPUR: Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah showed plenty of fire and resilience en route to becoming the first Malaysian men’s doubles pair to reach the final of the Maybank Malaysian Open since 2010.
The pair, back together for a third time after splitting up twice, were outstanding as they fought back from a game down to beat Indonesia’s Angga Pratama-Rian Agung Saputra.
The world No. 17, backed by a vociferous home crowd, won 23-25, 21-13, 22-20 in 72 minutes.
It could have ended earlier had V Shem-Khim Wah made the most of the two game points in the first game.
BUKIT JALIL: Doubles shuttlers Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem saved Malaysia from their worst-ever showing on home soil in the men’s doubles when they became the only pair to win the opening match.
On Wednesday, Khim Wah-V Shem gained sweet revenge when they dumped second seeds and reigning Korean Open champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 24-22, 17-21, 21-18.
Just last week, the Malaysians had gone down with a whimper to the Danes in the quarter-finals of the season-opener in cold Seoul.
But on Wednesday, they were blowing hot, showing great fighting spirit to outplay the Danes and prevent Malaysia from suffering a complete whitewash.
BUKIT JALIL: Let's be real, it will be tough for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei to win his 10th home title in the Maybank Malaysian Open when the action starts Wednesday with the first round at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
He is getting older. His younger opponents are getting bolder and stronger. And he is starting to feel the burden of responsibility on his tired shoulders.
But the 31-year-old intends to let the magic of playing at home do the talking once again this week.
His nine-month-old baby boy Kingston will be cheering his “papa” on every day from the stands. His devoted wife Wong Mew Choo, family and friends will be there. And thousands of his loyal and patriotic fans will be rooting for him.