Tan Wee Kiong (front) and Hoon Thien How in a file photo. They will be joining Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and Tan Boon Heong in New Delhi for the Thomas Cup Finals.
KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles shuttler Tan Wee Kiong is staying positive ahead of the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25 although some may think the doubles pairs don’t stand a chance.
Wee Kiong believes that Malaysia will go into the Finals with a fighting chance – just like the teams from South Korea, China, Indonesia and Denmark.
Currently, Wee Kiong forms the country’s No. 1 partnership with Hoon Thien How. Besides Wee Kiong-Thien How, the world No. 7 pair, the others confirmed for the Finals are reigning Malaysian Open champions Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and Tan Boon Heong.
On Saturday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) council will choose one of the three – Ow Yao Han, Chan Peng Soon and Koo Kien Keat – for the one remaining spot in the doubles department.
Wee Kiong said that the standard of the doubles players from the various countries is about the same – and that makes the competition interesting and keenly contested.
“I am not saying that we hold a huge advantage over other pairs but we are on par with some of them. For now, the focus of the Malaysian doubles players is to work on our own game,” said Wee Kiong.
“We do not want to be worried about others but rather focus on how best we can get ready for the competition.”
Wee Kiong was in the Thomas Cup Finals team two years ago in Wuhan but did not get a chance to play. He hopes that the fans will support them at the Finals.
“We hope that everyone will support us and cheer us on to do well. It is best that we adopt a positive attitude going into the Finals,” added Wee Kiong.
There have been questions on the reliability of the men’s doubles players in the Finals following their inconsistent performances in the last few international tournaments but Wee Kiong is confident that things will turn out good for them.
In Wuhan, Malaysia lost 0-3 to China in the quarter-finals, and this year BAM are hoping the Malaysia will go one step better.