Pick up the pieces

Luckless: Malaysia’s top doubles pair Tan Wee Kiong (left) and Goh V Shem have yet to win a title this year.

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s time to face the painful truth – it’s not one of the best years for Malaysian badminton at the top level.

And newly appointed Badminton Association of Malaysia coaching director Wong Choong Hann has accepted that reality after only one mixed doubles pair – Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying – qualified for next month’s World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China.

Hopes were on Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie to seal their tickets at the ongoing Hong Kong Open but both pairs blew their chances after losing in the second round in Kowloon on Thursday.

National No. 1 men’s doubles pair V Shem-Wee Kiong lost 16-21, 21-12, 12-21 to Indonesians Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in the second round while Soon Huat-Shevon crashed out 14-21, 16-21 to Indonesians Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti.

Only the top eight from every event after 12 legs get to play in the Finals. V Shem-Wee Kiong are lying at 16th spot while Soon Huat-Shevon are fifth but may drop further down the ranking list following their second-round exit.

Choong Hann said there was no point in dwelling on the past.

“It is what it is. We should accept where we are at the moment but we need to find ways to move ahead. We’ll look at our weaknesses and improve from there,” said Choong Hann.

“It’s not the result that we expected from the top players but we’ve to pick up from where we are and look forward to the new calendar year ahead.

“We’ve time to prepare ourselves and we should focus on how we can get better.”

Olympic silver medallists V Shem-Wee Kiong have failed to win a title so far this year and their last chance to make amends is at the Korean Masters from Nov 27-Dec 2.

World No. 7 Peng Soon-Liu Ying have won the Thailand Masters in January and the US Open in June but failed to make it to the last eight in their last three tournaments – including falling in the first rounds of the Hong Kong and French Opens last month.

Soon Huat-Shevon hit a career high by winning the Singapore Open and reached world No. 6 in June, but a series of early exits – including their last three tournaments – have seen them drop to 11th.

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