Doubles player Tan Boon Heong (right) who partnered Hoon Thien How during the recent Thomas Cup Finals is disappointed at being left out of the Commonwealth Games starting next month.
KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s doubles ace Tan Boon Heong is upset with the national selectors for leaving him out of next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
And all Boon Heong, who won the badminton doubles gold with Koo Kien Keat at the last edition in New Delhi four years ago, wants is a fair selection process.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have submitted the names of five men and five women for the Games to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) but they have until Tuesday to confirm the list.
The men shuttlers are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Chan Peng Soon and the women are Tee Jing Yi, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Lai Pei Jing and Lim Yin Loo.
Boon Heong wants to know why a selection trial was not conducted to pick the best players for the Games, to be held from July 23-Aug 3, when the same was done to select the shuttlers for the recent Thomas Cup Finals.
“They’ve named a scratch pair (V Shem and Wee Kiong) for the Commonwealth Games. I too played with a scratch partner (Hoon Thien How) during the Thomas Cup Finals ... and I believe that both of us did quite well. Why weren’t we considered?” asked Boon Heong.
At the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi, national coach Pang Cheh Chang fielded the scratch combinations of V Shem-Wee Kiong and Boon Heong-Thien How for most of the ties.
V Shem-Wee Kiong did well to beat India’s Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Jerry Chopra (21-17, 14-21, 21-14); South Korea’s Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung (21-17, 21-19), Carsten Mogensen-Joachim Fischer Nielsen (21-19, 21-13) and Japan’s Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura (19-21, 21-17, 21-12).
Boon Heong-Thien How defeated India’s Sumeeth Reddy B-Manu Attri (21-14, 21-11) and Indonesia’s Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (21-19, 8-21, 23-21) but lost to South Korea’s Yoo Yeon-seong-Lee Yong-dae (21-19, 21-19); Denmark’s Mads Peiler Kolding-Mads Conrad-Petersen (21-14, 21-18); and Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa-Horiyuki Endo (12-21, 21-17, 19-21).
“We raised our game during the tie against Indonesia. The standard among all of us is about the same. It would have been easier to accept the decision if BAM had conducted a selection trial,” said Boon Heong.
“I have nothing against my team-mates ... I’m just surprised at the way the selection was done. I have asked my coach (Cheh Chang) but was told that it (the selection of team) had been decided.”
Boon Heong said that since Kien Keat’s retirement, he had been “floating” without a partner. He played with Ow Yao Han in three tournaments but their partnership failed to take off.
He has been teamed up with V Shem for the Japan Open, starting on Wednesday. He will then partner Wee Kiong in the Indonesian Open (June 17-22) and Thien How at the Australian Open (June 24-29).
“I was given assurance that I would be assigned a partner after the Thomas Cup Finals. Instead, I have to play with different players,” he said.
“I’ve thought about leaving the national team but I still love the sport. I hope all this will be settled quickly and all of us will get a fair crack of the whip.”
Cheh Chang plans to wait until the World Championships in Copenhagen in August before deciding whether to stick with the original pairings or to break them up. For now though, V Shem-Wee Kiong seem to be his best pair.