Tuesday, 24 June 2014 | MYT 10:09 PM
Khim Wah on redemption course Down Under
Lim Khim Wah (right)'s performances has gone south since winning the Malaysian Open in January with Goh V Shem (left). - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles shuttler Lim Khim Wah has a chance to redeem himself after his recent spate of poor showing.
On Tuesday, Khim Wah and scratch partner Ow Yao Han made it to the main draw of the Australian Open after beating Oon Hoe Keat-Pham Tran Hoang of Australia 21-14, 21-7 in the first round of the qualifying tournament in Sydney.
The Malaysians will take on Philip Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao of the Philippines in the first round of the US$750,000 (RM2.4mil) tournament, which has been elevated to a Superseries event for the first time.
Khim Wah, who got off to a brilliant start this year by winning the Malaysian Open with regular partner Goh V Shem in January, has been a pale shadow of himself of late.
He went down with Yao Han in the second round of the qualifying tournament in the Japan Open two weeks ago. At the Indonesian Open last week, Khim Wah and V Shem were beaten in the first round. Khim Wah only got to play in one match in the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May.
The Australian Open is the second last chance for Khim Wah to impress the coaches. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will decide whether to retain his partnership with V Shem after the World Championships in Denmark in August.
Besides Khim Wah-Yao Han, the other Malaysian doubles pairs competing in Sydney are Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong, V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and professionals Chan Kwong Beng-Chiang Jiann Shiarng.
Said national coach Pang Cheh Chang: “We have three pairs (Khim Wah-Yao Han, Thien How-Boon Heong and V Shem-Wee Kiong) in the top half of the draw. Let’s see who have the will to go the extra mile here.”
Thien How-Boon Heong may meet Khim Wah-Yao Han if they beat their first-round opponents Raymond Tam-Glenn Warfe of Australia today while V Shem-Wee Kiong are expected to win against Magnaye Peter Gabriel-Paul Jefferson Vivas of the Philippines to set up a thrilling match against Indonesians Markis Kido-Gideon Markus Fernaldi in the second round.
With reigning Indonesian Open champions Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon seong of South Korea and second seeds Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung also taking part, the men’s doubles event is set to be an exciting affair.
In the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Indonesian Open champion Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark and Kenichi Tago of Japan, the race for the men’s singles crown is wide open.
Malaysia will be banking on Liew Daren and three professionals – Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Jiann Shiarng – to keep the flag flying.