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Saturday January 26, 2013
By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are set to have a maximum representation of three pairs in the World Championships at Guangzhou in August following youngsters Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem’s huge leap in the latest world ranking issued yesterday.
Yesterday, Khim Wah-V Shem, who are coming together after a six-month break, broke into the top 20 bracket when they moved a whopping 11 rungs up the ranking list released by Badminton World Federation (BWF).
They are ranked 19th now, thanks to their semi-final finish in the Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil last week.
Two others ahead of them are world No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, who dropped one rung to 10th spot. A country can have a maximum of three pairs if all of them are in the top 24 by the end of the qualifying period in April.
Two other pairs, who are also in the top 24 are professional shuttlers Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock (22nd) and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (23rd).
National doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her was happy with the latest development and hoped that Khim Wah-V Shem will maintain their performances by doing well in the next two tournaments – German Open Grand Prix Gold (Feb 26-March 3) and the All-England (March 5-10).
“Just a year ago, we only had one national pair in the top 24 and now, we have managed to push two more. This is good for the doubles department,” said Kim Her.
“Khim Wah-V Shem will only move further up the rankings as their current ranking points are based on nine tournaments. A maximum of 10 best tournaments within a year is used to determine a pair’s ranking.
“They should do well in the German Open and even reaching the quarter-finals will earn them good points. That will see them moving within the top 15. As long as they maintain their performances, they should make their first ever appearance in the world meet.”
Kim Her, however, made it very clear that having a good ranking alone was not enough. He had challenged all the second stringers under his care to start winning tournaments – starting with GP Gold this year.
Meanwhile, Malaysia are also in the right path of having a maximum of three qualifiers in the men’s singles through Lee Chong Wei, Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.
Daren and Wei Feng, however, cannot afford to take their feet off the pedal in the next three months as the challenge in the men’s singles is much more keener and others outside the top 24 are capable of sneaking in.
Malaysia have a chance for full representations in the mixed doubles too but it all depends on the performances of Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing and Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo.
Both these pairs must pull off breakthrough performances like their more successful compatriots Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the next three months if they intend to move into the top 24.
It will be difficult for Malaysia in the women’s singles and doubles events. In fact, it will be a surprise if Malaysia have more than one qualifier in either event.
For the record, the India Open Super Series from April 23-28, will be the last qualifying tournament for the world meet.
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