Cheh Chang (left) is not ruling out the possibility of changing the doubles pairings at Asiad.
KUALA LUMPUR: National badminton doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang has not ruled out the possibility of tinkering with the men’s doubles pairs at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19-Oct 4.
But, he stressed, the “mix-and-match” approach will only apply to the team competition – if necessary.
After months of tinkering, since the Thomas Cup in May, three pairs have finally been made permanent beginning this month.
They are Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah-Ow Yao Han.
Except Yao Han, the rest have been named for the Asiad. The other member in the men’s team is Chan Peng Soon.
“It is possible that we may have to make changes to the men’s pairings at the Asian Games ... but, of course, it will be only for the team event,” said Cheh Chang.
“Just like in the Thomas Cup, we have to be flexible and make adjustments according to the situation ... and depending on who we play against.
“But I still have several weeks to work things out.
“For the individual event, though, V Shem-Wee Kiong and Boon Heong-Thien How will be our two representatives.”
Cheh Chang is wary of a backlash from China, who failed to retain the Thomas Cup for the first time after five editions.
China are likely to be Malaysia’s opponents in the Asiad semi-finals.
“We should brace ourselves for a stronger China. They made mistakes in New Delhi (Thomas Cup) but they surely won’t repeat it,” said Cheh Chang.
“They will definitely go all out to restore their pride and this is evident from their willingness to sacrifice a few young players and replacing them with the likes of Lin Dan and Cai Yun.
“We can certainly expect a hard time. China will not let the gold medal slip away from them.”
In Incheon, Thomas Cup runners-up Malaysia will open their men’s team competition campaign in the quarter-finals against either Macau or Mongolia.