KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) announced the return of the successful men’s doubles pairings of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi for a number of tournaments scheduled in early 2018.
BAM secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai confirmed that the decisions were made in consideration of the new tournament regulations released by world badminton governing body, Badminton World Federation (BWF), effective next year.
V Shem and Wee Kiong are the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist while Yew Sin and Ee Yi won the silver medal at this year's SEA Games.
“Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi will be partnered for a few upcoming tournaments in preparation for Malaysia's Thomas Cup campaign next year.
"As both these pairs are still highly ranked, they can help to position Malaysia higher for qualification and also for seeding purposes.
“In the next few months, the old and new pairings will be entered for different tournaments.
"BWF has come out with new tournament regulations from the year 2018 onwards where there are no qualifying rounds for Level 2 and 3 tournaments, while in Level 4 and 5 tournaments, there are only 28 places in the main draw plus eight in the qualifying tournament.
“Therefore, there's a risk that the new pairing of Wee Kiong-Yew Sin and V Shem-Ee Yi may not qualify to play in Level 2 and 3 tournaments at all and most of Level 4 tournaments.
"Hence, BAM together with coaches and players have come to the decision to continue the pairings of V Shem-Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi for some tournaments,” Ng said.
As of Nov 30, the pairings of Wee Kiong-Yew Sin and V Shem-Ee Yi were ranked 76 and 92 respectively while the V Shem-Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi were at 18 and 24.
National head coach Cheah Soon Kit said, “The signs are positive as the players understand the planning that we have for next year especially the Thomas Cup campaign.
“They were very receptive of the decision because they know that above all, the country comes first and they are also aware of the new BWF ruling. I hope that they will be able to achieve the best results possible.”