Vivian Hoo (right) has pulled out of the Malaysian GP Gold event in Johor due to an ankle injury. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Top national women’s pair Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo have pulled out of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold at the eleventh hour.
The second seeds and reigning SEA Games champions withdrew from the tournament, which begins at Pasir Gudang on Wednesday, following an injury to Vivian.
Khe Wei said on Monday that they will skip the home tournament to prepare for the Indian Open Superseries in New Delhi next week.
“Vivian hurt her ankle during training last week ... but it isn’t serious. We feel that it’s best to skip the GP Gold and focus on the Indian Open,” said Khe Wei, a second year Sports Science student in University Malaya.
“This one-week break from competition will give Vivian enough time to get back on her feet and be ready for the tougher challenge in India.”
In India, the duo have been drawn to play Russians Anastasia Chervaykova-Nina Vislova in the opening round. If they win, they are likely to meet seventh seeds Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.
“We are aiming to reach at least the quarter-finals ... it will certainly put us in good stead heading into the Uber Cup Finals (at the same venue in May),” said Khe Wei.
Without world No. 18 Khe Wei-Vivian, Malaysia will be banking on fourth seeds Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho to deliver the goods.
The other Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) pairs in the fray are Joyce Choong Wai Chi-Yap Cheng Wen, Lee Meng Yean-Lim Yin Loo and Chow Mei Kuan-Shevon Lai Jemie.
The top seeds are Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella-Vita Marissa of Indonesia but fifth seeds Yu Xiaohan-Huang Yaqiong of China are the favourite to win their first GP Gold title.