Precarious situation: Vivian Hoo (bottom) and Woon Khe Wei will have to win the gold medal at the KL SEA Games to avoid being split up. — AFP
PETALING JAYA: National women’s doubles pair Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo’s only option to salvage their badminton careers will be to win a gold medal at next month’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
And the world No. 14 are up for the challenge.
For a start, Khe Wei-Vivian are hoping to get back on track at the second-tier New Zealand Open in Auckland from Aug 1-6. It’s their last tournament before the KL Games.
Anything less than a gold medal at the biennial Games will probably see them being split up, according to Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria that is.
Khe Wei said that “we are in the process of regaining our momentum”.
“We’ve not been playing the way we usually do since the Sudirman Cup (in Gold Coast, Australia in May). Something has gone wrong with our combination and this has affected our confidence,” admitted Khe Wei.
“The good news is that we are clear about our objectives now. We’re playing much better in training. Our president wants us to win a gold and we’ll try.”
Khe Wei also prefers to remain positive despite being pushed hard in training.
“The leg is sore but that’s normal. I usually put a pack of ice to ease the pain. The Games are our last chance to prove ourselves and we’re working hard,” she said.
Her partner Vivian is hoping to use the New Zealand Open to get the “tournament feel” again.
“Khe Wei and I had a short break when things weren’t going our way. We’re back fresher and are focusing on our physical condition,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to the New Zealand Open after skipping a few tournaments. A good showing there will put us in the right mode going into the KL Games.
“Khe Wei and I understand clearly that we have no choice but to perform and deliver at the SEA Games.”
Khe Wei-Vivian did the unthinkable at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games when they upset favourites Nitya Krishinda Maheswari-Greysia Polii of Indonesia for the gold medal.
At the Singapore Games two years ago, they lost to teammates Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho in the final.