PETALING JAYA: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong collected a big Chinese New Year ang pow after emerging triumphant at the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold.
The Malaysians, however, had to work hard for it, coming from a game down to beat homesters Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar 14-21, 24-22, 21-8 in the men’s doubles final in Lucknow on Sunday.
The Indians, coached by Malaysian Tan Kim Her, had come into the final high on confidence after beating world No. 7 Kim Gi-jung-Kim Sa-rang of South Korea in the semi-finals.
Cheered by a boisterous crowd, the Indian world No. 36 pair got off to a flying start by taking the first game 21-14.
V Shem-Wee Kiong were on the verge of defeat but they managed to save a match point to force a rubber after taking the second game 24-22.
It was one-way traffic in the third game as world No. 16 pair held firm to seal the win after 61 minutes.
“Our opponents were really fast and they read our play very well in the first game. We couldn’t execute our game plan,” said Wee Kiong.
“Luckily, we came back with a new strategy in the second. We had to slow down their rhythm and it worked very well.
“After that, we just needed to focus on ourselves and I’m glad we made the comeback,” added Wee Kiong.
It was V Shem-Wee Kiong’s second international title after the US Grand Prix success last December.
They pocketed US$9,480 (RM39,274) for their win in India.
But there’s little chance for Wee Kiong-V Shem to spend their money. They will miss next week’s Chinese New Year festivities as they head to Bangkok for the Thailand Masters from Feb 8-13.
The win also did V Shem-Wee Kiong’s hopes of qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August a world of good.
V Shem-Wee Kiong are now placed 12th, and they are set to overtake compatriots Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, who are 10th in the qualifying race for the Olympics.
Only the top 16 pairs will earn a ticket to Rio when the qualifying period ends on May 1. But a country can have two pairs if both are in the top eight.