V Shem-Wee Kiong ‘smash’ BWF draw system


  • Badminton
  • Monday, 06 Jan 2020

V Shem: ‘There’s no way you’re going to feel happy knocking your countrymen out of a competition.’

KUALA LUMPUR: Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong have had enough of facing compatriots in the early round of tournaments.

And the world No. 10 pair hope the Badminton World Federation (BWF) can do something about that.

V Shem-Wee Kiong will open their campaign against world No. 8 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik in the first round of the Malaysian Masters at the Axiata Arena tomorrow.

Although this is the first time V Shem-Wee Kiong will take on Aaron-Wooi Yik in an international tournament, they still find it hard to accept the fact that they keep drawing their compatriots in the early stages.

In 2019, they faced Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi four times, three of them being in the first two rounds.

“Facing compatriots is the last thing we want to see when the tournament draw is out, ” said V Shem.

“We faced Yew Sin-Ee Yi four times in total, winning all of them but we did not enjoy any of these victories.

“There’s no way you’re going to feel happy knocking your countrymen out of a competition.

“It’s funny. We have got 32 pairs but it just had to be Yew Sin-Ee Yi.

“I really hope the BWF can review their draw system. They claim it’s random, but how can there be so many coincidences?

“It’s not just us, even Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Mads Conrad-Petersen had drawn China’s Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong four times in the first round last year, including a stretch of three tournaments.”

V Shem added that he would love to see the BWF bring back the ninth-16th seeding system to prevent high-ranked players from clashing early in the competition.

“It’s better for the seeding to be extended to ninth to 16th just like last time.

“For instance, Aaron-Wooi Yik are the world No. 8 and we being the world No. 10, should not be facing each other in the first round, ” he lamented.

“Under the current system, a top seeded player could face a world No. 9 while the No. 20 could face No. 30.

“This would dilute the tournament in the later stages.”

However, V Shem and Wee Kiong will not have time to dwell on something they can’t change for now as they focus on the final stretch of the Tokyo Olympics qualification.

V Shem-Wee Kiong will continue their duel with Aaron-Wooi Yik for the right to represent the country in Tokyo.

With Aaron-Wooi Yik currently ahead of them in the race, it’s imperative for V Shem-Wee Kiong to beat their former national teammates and do well in the tournament this week.

“We beat them at the National Championships (semi-finals) last year and we’re looking to do the same, ” said V Shem.

“We are playing catch up and can’t afford any slip-up.

“This year, we’re targeting to reach no less than the quarter-finals in every tournament.

“But of course, our ultimate aim is getting two Malaysian pairs to Tokyo. Hopefully, both will do our best to qualify together.

“That will be a dream come true for me.”

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