ALOR SETAR: Expect national doubles head coach Cheah Soon Kit to make some drastic changes in order to find a suitable third pair for the Thomas Cup Finals.
The recent Asia Team Championships showed that Malaysia lack a strong third pair for the Finals in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 20-27 and they had to rely solely on world No. 15 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and world No. 22 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.
World No. 34 Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen are the national No. 3 but they have been hardly inspiring while youngsters Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani have been struggling for more than a year.
Soon Kit may swap the lower-ranked pairs to find a lethal third pair.
“We need more depth in the team and I’ll try to build another pair within the next three months and we’ll see how that goes,” said Soon Kit.
“V Shem-Wee Kiong actually played well and I’m happy with their showing while Yew Sin-Ee Yi were under pressure in the semi-finals against China and couldn’t deliver.
“Yew Sin-Ee Yi’s lack of experience as a second pair showed and we’ll need to work on that.”
Soon Kit said they also needed to work on the players’ physical conditions.
“The players were not in the right physical condition to stay consistent and we need to look into that.”
Soon Kit’s top two pairs will now turn their focus to the BWF World Tour tournaments – the German Open from March 6-11 and All-England from March 14-18.
Seventh seeds V Shem-Wee Kiong have a good chance to end their title drought at the German Open. They have not won anything since their triumph at the World Superseries Finals in December 2016.
“I would love to see my players win titles but I’m not putting too much pressure on them. We’ll prepare them well and we’ll see how it goes.”