PETALING JAYA: From stragglers to top of the world.
Malaysians Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are now the No. 1 men’s doubles shuttlers in the Superseries standings after struggling to find their footing early in the season.
And the Olympic silver medallists hope to maintain their new status by doing well in the back-to-back Superseries tournaments in this week’s Denmark Open in Odense and French Open in Paris from Oct 25-30.
On Friday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) elevated V Shem-Wee Kiong from second to No. 1 after removing the names of top-ranked Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea from the standings list. After winning the Korean Open last month, Yong-dae officially announced his retirement from the sport.
V Shem was elated to be the new No. 1.
“I was so surprised when I saw the new list on Friday. This is the first time that Wee Kiong and I have been ranked first,” said V Shem. “It has been a mixed season for us this year. We have yet to reach a final in any of the eight legs,” he added.
The world No. 7 pair only managed to make three semi-finals – at the All-England, Indian Open and Korean Open – and one quarter-final appearance at the Indonesian Open. They were early-round casualties at the Opens in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Only the top eight pairs after the completion of the Tour’s 12 legs will compete at the BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai from Dec 14-18.
Besides the Denmark and French Opens, the other two remaining legs are in China (Nov 15-20) and Hong Kong (Nov 22-27).
“We will go all out to maintain the No. 1 position by staying consistent in Europe. We want to go to Dubai as the top-ranked pair,” said V Shem.
Realistically, China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei and Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda of Japan can still overtake V Shem-Wee Kiong’s 41,710 points in the standings. Chai Biao-Hong Wei are a close second on 41,140 points while Kamura-Sonoda are third on 36,450.
At the Denmark Open, Chai Biao-Hong Wei are the top seeds and drawn in the same half with Kamura-Sonoda while fourth seeds V Shem-Wee Kiong are in the lower half with second seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
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