Badminton

Published: Tuesday December 10, 2013 MYT 6:44:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 10, 2013 MYT 6:45:42 PM

Hoon-Tan face tough draw in Super Series Finals

Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong face world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in their Super Series Finals draw.

Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong face world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in their Super Series Finals draw.

KUALA LUMPUR: After earning a break to compete in the Super Series Finals, world No. 8 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong’s luck appears to have run dry as they were handed the toughest possible draw.

Thien How-Wee Kiong, who are in only because Koo Kien Keat was forced to withdraw following an eye infection and a minor procedure, have been drawn against world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, All England champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China and the dangerous South Korean combination of Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang in Group A.

South Korean pair Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae, who are playing in one last tournament together, defending champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen and Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa and Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata are in Group B.

Despite the challenging draw, national doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang is not pressing the panic button yet.

“Actually this draw is good for Thien How-Wee Kiong ... I’m happy they received such a challenging task,” said Cheh Chang.

“This is a good stage for them to test their quality and I believe that making the semi-finals should be their main priority.

“Winning the Macau Open was a good start but this tournament is where the real test begins for them.

“Their opponents will be of a higher level and if Thien How-Wee Kiong can pull it off, it will be good news for us, especially with big tournaments like the Thomas Cup next year.

“But I will discuss the strategies with them first, in particular, their tie against the Korean pair ... whom they have never met before.”

In the women’s doubles, top qualifiers Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi of Japan and who are still seeking their first career titles, are in Group A with China’s Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua, South Korea’s Jang Ye-na-Kim So-young and Indonesia’s Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta.

Reigning world champions Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang of China are in Group B with Danes Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl, Japan’s Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda and Thailand’s Duanganong Aroonkesorn-Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.

Tags / Keywords: badminton, Super Series, Finals, draw, Hoon Thien How, Tan Wee Kiong

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