Four-cornered fight

All ‘four’ it: Wee Kiong (right) and V Shem are hoping another final appearance in Bangkok will seal their place in the World Tour Finals.

PETALING JAYA: The race for the World Tour Finals has just picked up pace for four Malaysian men’s doubles pairs.

Independent duo Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong’s hopes of making the top-eight cut for the lucrative US$1.5mil (RM6.07mil) showpiece from Jan 27-31 in Bangkok are back alive after finishing runners-up in the Yonex Thailand Open last week.

Their first final in five years on Sunday propelled them by 16 rungs to No. 14 in the latest Tour standings, giving them a mathematical chance of qualifying. They lost to Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin in the title match.

V Shem-Wee Kiong will have to fight for their ticket not only with the other international competitors, but also their three compatriots.

Only a maximum of two pairs are eligible provided they finish in the top eight.

As it stands, fourth-placed Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and seventh-placed Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are on course to qualify.

Also aiming for a last-ditch attempt are Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, who rose from 19th spot to 12th thanks to their quarter-final outing in Bangkok.

All four pairs will be out to strengthen their claim when they get into action in the Toyota Thailand Open starting today.

V Shem-Wee Kiong are hoping to replicate last week’s feat to finish within the top eight.

“Initially we planned to fly home after the second Open in Thailand is over but now we are looking forward to extending our stay by qualifying for the season finale with another good show this week, ” said V Shem.

“We did not plan our trip to last until the Finals, but now that we have an outside chance, why not go for it?

“It’s not a mission impossible. Based on our projection, we can still make it if we reach the final again.

“It looks tough on paper, but we are not going to throw in the towel without trying.

“We’ve got the momentum and we want to keep it going. Qualifying for the Finals is definitely a big motivation to help us push for another good achievement this week.”

V Shem-Wee Kiong have a tough opening hurdle as they are up against South Korean seasoned campaigners Lee Yong-dae-Kim Gi-jung.

Should they progress, chances are they could face a rematch with Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin and Aaron-Wooi Yik – in a potential last 16 and quarter-final clashes.

Last week, V Shem-Wee Kiong defeated Aaron-Wooi (first round) and Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin (last eight) en route to the final.

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