GEORGE TOWN: Disappointments were written all over the faces of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong.
Malaysia’s top pair failed to join Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the men’s doubles semi-finals at the Malaysian Masters at the SPICE Arena in Relau.
They got off to a brilliant start but lost the momentum at the end, going down 24-22, 16-21, 16-21 to Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in a 58-minute quarter-final match.
With the duo out, Malaysia will be banking on Kien Keat-Boon Heong to keep the flag flying in the men’s doubles.
The duo stamped their mark by beating Hiroyuki Saeki-Ryota Taohata of Japan 21-16, 20-22, 21-13 to set up a meeting against Kim Sa-rang-Kim Gi-jung of South Korea in the last four.
Wee Kiong did not want to dwell on the defeat too much.
“This is only the first tournament of the year. We are still in the race for a berth to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. We have four months to qualify and we will bounce back,” said Wee Kiong.
They will compete at the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold tournament in Hyderabad next week.
“Obviously, V Shem and I need to work on some areas of our game. We will figure out what needs to be improved,” he added.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who are also in the running for a berth to the Rio Games, said that it would be tough against the Koreans who have beaten them in all four previous meetings.
“We are just happy that we scraped through today. It will be tougher against the Koreans. They have always make it uncomfortable for us,” said Boon Heong.
“It is another match and another day. We are not going to be too worked out but just stay focused when we face them,” he added.
The other semi-final match is between Kamura-Sonoda and Indonesians Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The latter upset eighth seeds Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin of Taiwan 15-21, 22-20, 21-13.