Kian Meng may get to play in Europe with Pei Jing

PETALING JAYA: Will mixed doubles shuttler Tan Kian Meng get his wish to play two Olympic qualifiers in Europe with outgoing partner Lai Pei Jing?

It appears likely as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) did not withdraw the world No. 12 entry for the Swiss Open (March 2-7) in Monday’s deadline. The other qualifier is at the German Open.

The BAM had instead withdrawn world No. 17 doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen’s participation.

Vivian and Pei Jing were among five senior shuttlers who were dropped from the national team on Sunday.

The other three are women’s singles Soniia Cheh and world No. 10 mixed doubles combination of Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.

All of them have appealed to the national body to fund their trip to Europe as it was difficult for them to seek sponsorship on short notice.

BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh said they would come up with a decision today.

“We’re still in discussion with a few players, we should be able to give the answer tomorrow (today), ” he said.

Kian Meng has every right to feel hard done if he is denied a chance to qualify for the Olympics as mathematically they can still make the cut.

Meanwhile, a spate of withdrawals at the Swiss Open has paved the way for our shuttlers to do well in Basel.

World No. 9 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and world No. 7 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are now the top seeds in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles respectively.

In men’s singles, Lee Zii Jia has moved up as the second seed behind Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen following the withdrawal of several top 10 players including Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen, Wang Tzu-wei and Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie.

In the women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean have an even better chance to continue their good run from Bangkok last month as they are now seeded second behind Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kittitharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai.

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