V Shem-Wee Kiong face tough hurdle to seal Olympic spot


  • Badminton
  • Sunday, 31 May 2020

Time to win: Goh V Shem (right) and Tan Wee Kiong are placed 14th in the Race to Tokyo standings.

PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Goh V Shem admits that he has to win one or two titles from the six remaining Olympic qualifiers next year if he and partner Tan Wee Kiong are to secure their ticket to the Tokyo Games.

The Rio Olympics silver medallists’ hopes of making their second successive Olympics appearance is still alive after Badminton World Federation (BWF) extended the qualification period to next year, which runs from January to April.

But V Shem-Wee Kiong do not have to be reminded that the odds are heavily stacked against them, given the substantial points deficit as they trail compatriots Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

Prior to the season suspension in mid March, V Shem-Wee Kiong were placed in the 14th spot in the Race to Tokyo standings, five rungs below Aaron-Wooi Yik.

A country can have two pairs if both are ranked in top eight and V Shem knows it will be tough.

“While we’re grateful we’re still in it (a chance to qualify), we know that we have a mountain to climb when the qualification resumes next year,” said V Shem.

“There is a massive point gap to get ourselves into the top eight standings.

“We need to collect as many points as possible from all the tournaments we will be competing in next year.

“We have to win one or two titles if we are to make the cut.”

The targeted tournaments next year are German Open (March 9-14), Swiss Open (March 23-28), Indian Open (March 30-April 4), Malaysian Open (April 6-11), Singapore Open (April 13-18) and the Asian Badminton Championships (date to be confirmed but expected to be end of April).

V Shem has ruled out a plan to take part in lower tier tournaments even if they are made available in January and February.

“There are some satellite tournaments which are also Olympic qualifiers, but I don’t think we will resort to playing in these tournaments,” he said.

“For instance, winning an International Challenge-level tournament will only reward you more or less the same points as reaching the second round of a third-tier World Tour tournament.

“It’ll not make much difference and it’s not worth the effort,” he explained.

V Shem-Wee Kiong could have put themselves in a better position had they not missed the registration deadline for the All-England in March. Their blunder paved way for Aaron-Wooi Yik to widen the gap after the latter reached the quarter-finals.

“We’re happy to see Aaron-Wooi Yik on course to qualify for their first Olympics, and we certainly hope they continue to excel,” said V Shem.

“Our target is to reach the top eight. Ultimately, we hope Malaysia will be represented by two pairs at the Olympics.”
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