KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong’s (pic) place in the national team remains safe – at least for now.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have provisionally included the under-fire duo in their Road to Tokyo 2020 plans but will give them until April next year to turn things around or otherwise face the chop.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, the former world No. 1 and Rio Olympics silver medallist, are sinking into oblivion as they have not only failed to win a title in two years, but also prone to early round exits.
The pair failed to defend their Commonwealth Games gold medal in Gold Coast in April and flopped in their first doubles role at the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok a month later.
V Shem-Wee Kiong also struggled to shine at the World Championships in Nanjing, China, and the Indonesian Asian Games.
The BAM coaching and training committee (CNT) are willing to give them more time but was quick to warn that their days are numbered if the situation doesn’t improve after the first four months next year.
“They are in our Road to Tokyo 2020 programme, but we have included more KPIs (key performance index) for them to meet.
“If they still don’t deliver, then they may not belong in BAM,” stressed CNT chairman Datuk Ng Chin Chai.
BAM had issued an ultimatum to V Shem-Wee Kiong before, but no drastic action has been taken to date.
It’s obvious the national body finds it tough to drop the duo, who are still the top-ranked pair in the country, as there are not many worthy successors.
With Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi also struggling to achieve world-class status, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are the only promising combination available at the moment, but they are still young and developing.
The BAM had tried splitting V Shem and Wee Kiong before but failed to produce a desirable outcome.
BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann is adamant that V Shem and Wee Kiong deserve another chance.
“They have been there (at the top) before and I believe they can get back there again,” said Choong Hann.
“I have spoken to them personally after reporting for duty recently. They realised they have not been good enough and are looking for ways to recapture their lost form.
“And I assured them that we are ready to help.”