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Monday September 10, 2012
By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s doubles shuttlers Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah have been dropped from the squad to the China Masters and Japan Open after the former commented on the incompatibility of their partnership.
Yesterday, V Shem and Khim Wah did not join their team-mates for the trip to China. The China Masters begins on Wednesday at Changzhou. The duo will also not be going for the Japan Open from Sept 13-18.
The 21-year-old V Shem said that coach Tan Kim Her told him it was pointless to send them for the tournaments if they were not comfortable playing together.
“My partnership with Khim Wah will be split and that is why our names have been withdrawn from the China Masters and Japan Open,” said V Shem.
“I am not sure who will partner me but I will wait for the coaches to decide. I have no preference and will leave it to the coaches to choose another partner for me.”
The world No. 24 ranked V Shem and Khim Wah are currently the country’s second pair after Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.
Over the last one and a half years, they did well by beating big names like Indonesia’s Mohd Ahsan-Bona Septano and Taiwan’s Fang Chieh-min-Lee Sheng-mu but they were unable to break into top 20 ranking because of their inconsistent performances.
The new partners for V Shem and Khim Wah will be decided after the status of Kien Keat-Boon Heong is made clear.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) had discussed at length about Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s future at the coaching and training committee meeting on Saturday but they could not decide whether to split or keep them together.
The outcome will be known after the BAM meet up with Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the next few days.
If they are broken up, V Shem may partner Boon Heong while Kien Keat will probably team up with Khim Wah or other youngsters in the team.
Meanwhile, without V Shem-Khim Wah at the China Masters, Malaysia will be banking on several back-up pairs – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Chan Peng Soon-Ong Jian Guo and former internationals Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock, to keep the flag flying high. Thien How-Wee Kiong are expected to take on top seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan in the quarter-finals and have a chance to feature in their first semi-finals of a Super Series event.
If all goes well for Peng Soon-Jian Guo in the early rounds, they may take on either China’s scratch pair Guo Zhengdong-Xu Chen or second seeds Hong Wei-Shen Ye in the last eight.
In the men’s singles, back-up shuttlers Chan Kwong Beng, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng will carry Malaysia’s hopes but they are not expected to go far.
Kwong Beng, who had voiced his intention to train under Hendrawan after his failure to make any headway under Rashid Sidek for the last one and a half years, will begin his campaign as the top seed in the qualifying tournament.
Hafiz may meet top seed Chen Long of China in the last eight while Daren and Wei Feng have tricky first round matches.
Daren plays India’s Sourabh Varma while Wei Feng has a first round battle against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.
Two top players – Lin Dan of China and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia – have chosen to skip the tournament.
They will resume their rivalry at the Japan Open. In their last meeting at the London Olympic Games, Lin Dan defeated Chong Wei for the gold medal.
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