PETALING JAYA: Their swansong at the World Championships has evoked mixed emotions for Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong.
The former world No. 1 have achieved their best outing as the quarter-finalists in Huelva in their fifth world meet appearance but they were left to ruing on what could have been a perfect farewell gift to mark an end to their seven-year partnership – a coveted medal – after losing 20-22, 14-21 to China’s He Jiting-Tan Qiang on Friday.
“Obviously there are some regrets,” said Wee Kiong, who also reached the last eight with Hoon Thien How in Copenhagen 2014.
“We fought all the way to the quarter-finals, so to go so close to a medal is frustrating, more so in our very last tournament together.
“It (the quarter-final) was a winnable match I would say. If only we had won the opening game, who knows?
“It’s nevertheless still our best result by far at the world meet. V Shem and I could only reach the last 16 three times, so is not too bad.”
V Shem also lamented the near miss but said it was still a tournament to cherish for him and Wee Kiong.
“Regrets, yes a little, but I think we have given our best shot, and that’s what matters,” said V Shem.
“Based on the draw (in the absence of many top pairs), we certainly stood a good chance to go far but there’s no easy match in the men’s doubles. At least we didn’t fly all the way here to lose in the first round!
“It was a good farewell for both of us and justified our decision to play together for one last time despite having announced our split (just before the world championships qualifiers list was released).”
V Shem will resume playing next year with Low Juan Shen while Wee Kiong with Tan Kian Meng.
They started as a scratch pair at the 2014 Thomas Cup in New Delhi, India but were instrumental in leading Malaysia to the final before finishing runners-up to Japan. They did not lose a single match as the second doubles and that convinced the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to make their partnership permanent.
They went on to win the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow and bronze at the Incheon Asian Games the same year.
V Shem-Wee Kiong played their best badminton in 2016 when they won silver at the Rio Olympics
They also won the Denmark Open and World Superseries Finals in Dubai that year and became the world No. 1 in the process.