PETALING JAYA: Former national women’s doubles player Woon Khe Wei has challenged the Malaysian team to do better than her at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland, starting tomorrow.
The 30-year-old’s best achievement was a third-round finish with Vivian Hoo at the 2013 edition in Guangzhou.
And she hopes Vivian with her new partner Yap Cheng Wen and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean would defy the odds to reach at least the quarter-finals.
The only other pair who have made it to the quarter-finals are Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty at the 2006 edition in Madrid.
“Vivian and I tried to go beyond the early round but our best is only a third-round finish in my third World Championships outing (in 2013), ” said Khe Wei.
“I know it’s not easy to get the opportunity to play at such a big event, so I hope they will enjoy the moment.”
“I’ve been in their shoes before and I know it’s not easy as the women’s field is competitive but I do hope they will do better than me.”
On paper, it’s tough for Mei Kuan-Meng Yean and Vivian-Cheng Wen to break the third-round barrier.
If Mei Kuan-Meng Yean win their first two round matches, they are likely to take on Japan’s world No. 2 Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi in the third round.
Barring any upset, Vivian-Cheng Wen will also face a difficult third-round clash in China’s world No. 7 Du Yue-Li Yinhui.
“If they can keep away from the pressure and stay positive, they can cause an upset, ” said Khe Wei.
Khe Wei hoped for a good show in Basel to boost the girls’ aspiration towards the Tokyo Olympic Games qualification.
A country can have a maximum of two pairs provided they are in the top eight of the world rankings when the qualification period ends in April next year.
If both pairs are not in the top eight, only one can enter but they have to be in the top 16.
Mei Kuan-Meng Yean are currently ranked 15th in the world while Vivian-Cheng Wen are in the 23rd spot.
“There is still a chance to qualify. They just have to keep fighting, ” added Khe Wei, who took part in the Li Ning’s Nex1 Badminton Championships at One Utama Shopping Complex yesterday.
“This a very good platform for juniors, who are not in the national team, state and club, to compete. There are not many competitions like this, ” said Khe Wei, who runs her academy here.
“Players, who are not affiliated to any state or club teams, don’t have enough funding to compete in the international competitions abroad, so this is a good opportunity for them.”
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