PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem (pic) will be out to erase some unpleasant memories in Australia.
After missing last week’s Indonesian Open due to injuries, world No. 4 Wee Kiong-V Shem have been cleared to compete in the men’s doubles at the Australian Open which begins in Sydney on Wednesday.
Just a month ago, Wee Kiong-V Shem had returned from Australia to a hostile reception following their failure to win points for Malaysia against Japan in the Sudirman Cup mixed team tournament in Gold Coast.
They were beaten twice by Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura in the group clash and quarter-finals.
National doubles head coach Cheah Soon Kit believes Wee Kiong-V Shem, who left for Australia yesterday, will put up a better show to redeem themselves this time.
“They’ve shown good progress and determination in training,” said Soon Kit.
Wee Kiong-V Shem were dropped from the Indonesian Open because Wee Kiong was carrying a knee injury while V Shem had some back problems.
At the Australian Open, the Olympic silver medallists face Japan’s Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko in the first round. If they win, they’ll face Thailand’s Bodin Isara-Nipitphon Phuangphuapet in the second round.
Wee Kiong-V Shem are in the same half of the draw with top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia and Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan of China. Marcus-Gideon take on Malaysia’s Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin in the first round.
Those in the lower half with second seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China are third seeds Sonoda-Kamura, Ricky Karanda Suwardi-Ang-ga Pratama of Indonesia and Malaysian youngsters Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rum-sani.
Meanwhile, Lee Chong Wei, who suffered a shock loss to H.S. Prannoy of India in the men’s singles second round at the Indonesian Open on Thursday, has withdrawn from the Australian Open.
Said national coach Hendrawan: “Chong Wei’s not in good condition. He will now focus on his preparations for the World Championships (in Glasgow from Aug 21-27).”
Without Chong Wei, Zulfadli Zulkiffli is the only Malaysian competing in the men’s singles in Sydney. The other Malaysians in the fray are Soniia Cheah (women’s singles), Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo (women’s doubles), Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See (mixed doubles).