Doubles players Tan Wee Kiong (left) and Hoon Thien How will be pair with Goh V Shem and Tan Boon Heong respectively after the badminton World Championships in Denmark concludes. - BERNAMA
COPENHAGEN: Doubles shuttlers Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong will lose their status as the country’s No. 1 pair after crashing out in the quarter-finals of the World Championships at the Bellarup Super Arena.
But the duo, who qualified for the world meet as the world No. 7, prefer to stay positive as a new beginning unfolds.
After the world meet, Thien How and Wee Kiong will be paired up with Tan Boon Heong and Goh V Shem respectively – and the new partnerships’ first test will be the Asian Games in Incheon from Sept 19-Oct 4.
On Friday, Thien How-Wee Kiong, seeded seventh, could not keep the momentum going when they went down 18-21, 13-21 to 12th seeds Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol of South Korea.
On Thursday, they were impressive in beating Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 19-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a third-round match marred by poor line calls.
They were the only Malaysian pair left standing after the third round when seniors Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong went down fighting 21-14, 10-21, 19-21 to Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin of Taiwan.
Wee Kiong was disappointed with the way they lost to the Koreans, who they had beaten twice before – at the 2013 China Open and this year’s German Open.
The Koreans were robust at the front court, often slamming down weak returns from the Malaysians, and even deceived them with a variety of trick shots to the delight of the home crowd.
“We had beaten them twice and they came prepared this time. From the start, we lost to them tactically,” said the 24-year-old Wee Kiong.
“Overall, it has been an okay outing for me. Last year, we did not make it to the quarter-finals. But the men’s doubles department should have done better here.”
Chipped in Thien How: “We were slower compared to the way we played against the Japanese. I did not recover from that match (in the third round).
“I have only one issue with this world meet – the poor line calls (during the third round). We hope BWF (Badminton World Federation) will look into it.”