Good news as all four men’s doubles pairs seeded for world meet

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will, for the first time since 2007, have all their four men’s doubles representatives seeded for the World Championships.

But can Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani translate the advantage to their favour to end the nation’s medal drought and possibly emerge world champions in Huelva, Spain from Dec 12-19?

The draw for for all the five events will be conducted today.

The top 16 players and pairs were seeded based on their world rankings on Nov 21.

In the men’s doubles, Aaron-Wooi Yik were the highest placed in fourth followed by Yew Sin-Ee Yi (ninth), V Shem-Wee Kiong (10th) and debutants Sze Fei-Izzuddin (14th).

The last time Malaysia had all their men’s doubles pairs seeded was in Kuala Lumpur 14 years ago.

The four pairs were Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (second), Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (sixth), Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari (seventh) and Ong Soon Hock-Tan Bin Shen (15th).

Tan Fook-Wan Wah turned out to be the best performers following their thrilling 20-22, 26-28 semi-final defeat to eventual champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan to earn their second bronze at the world meet (the first was in Seville 2001).

The highly-rated Kien Keat-Boon Heong did not bag their medal – a bronze – until the 2009 edition in Hyderabad.

They improved it to silver the following year in Paris, losing 21-18, 18-21, 14-21 to Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China.

That was also the last time Malaysia had a podium finish.

Of the four pairs this time, Olympics bronze medallists Aaron-Wooi Yik, who are making their third straight appearance, are certainly Malaysia’s best bet.

By being seeded fourth, the world No. 7 will not cross path with the world’s top three pairs – Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan and Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan – until the semi-finals.

In the men’s singles, Zii Jia is expected to earn a smooth path to the quarter-finals based on his status as the sixth seed.

Barring any upset, his real challenge would begin in the last eight where he could potentially face one of the top four seeds – Japan’s Kento Momota, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen and Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen.

Zii Jia made an impressive worlds debut in Basel two years ago by reaching the quarter-finals before losing to Momota.

Women’s doubles duo Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah were the other debutants to be seeded while three independent mixed doubles pairs – Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie – as expected made the seeding list too.

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