Wee Kiong-V Shem face Japanese test in first round

Top pair: Goh V Shem (left) and Tan Wee Kiong will take on Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi in the first round of the All-England.

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 men’s doubles shuttlers and top seeds Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem will begin their All-England badminton championships with a first-round clash against Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi in Birming­ham on Wednesday.

On paper, that should be a cinch.

In reality, it’s a lot tougher than it looks.

The world No. 18 Japanese pair, both 21, have proved to be a menace for some of the world’s top pairs in the last one year. Their biggest win was against China’s world No. 6 pair Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in the China Open last year.

“It looks rather easy, but it can all go wrong for us. We can’t take our first-round opponents lightly at all,” said Wee Kiong.

“The opening round is the most important. Other factors counts too ... we need to get used to the court as well as adjust to the cooler weather and time difference.

“Hopefully, we’ll live up to our top seeding.”

The All-England will be Wee Kiong-V Shem’s first international outing since winning the World Superseries Finals in Dubai last December as both players had been injured over the last three months.

Wee Kiong was down with a shoulder problem in January while V Shem injured his ankle last month.

“We’re both fine now. We’ve put in a lot of work in training and are looking forward to playing together again after the long break,” said Wee Kiong.

“We expect nothing less than a semi-final appearance again. It would be great if we can win our first All-England title.”

If they clear the first round hurdle, they will probably face China’s Liu Xiaolong-Xu Chen next. If they win, they should play either sixth seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China or Thailand’s Bodin Isara-Nipitphon Phuangphuapet.

The others in their half are seventh seeds Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi of Indonesia and Japan’s No. 1 pair Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda.

Second seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark are in the lower half of the draw with China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei, Malaysia’s Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin and the Indonesian-Malaysia combination of Hendra Setiawan-Tan Boon Heong.

Wee Kiong-V Shem left for Birmingham yesterday with Lee Chong Wei, Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Ee Yi-Yew Sin, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei.

They will be joined by Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing after the German Open.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Badminton

Badminton: Zii Jia suffers shock first round exit in French Open
Rehiring Rexy Mainaky bodes well for BAM squad, says Chong Wei
BAM: Rexy can ease Choong Hann’s workload and revitalise doubles department
Give Rexy some power and freedom so he can be effective, says Boon Heong
A better pair in Paris
Zii Jia faces uphill task at world meet after seeing rivals flex muscles
Daren happy to be back in Paris – the place he won Superseries title
Rexy’s back with BAM
BAM re-enlists Rexy Mainaky, to take up deputy coaching director role
Doubles pair Sze Fei-Izzuddin projected to break into top 20

Others Also Read