Sze Fei-Izzuddin’s decision to split will see big changes in doubles department

Hoping for the best: Goh Sze Fei (right) and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani have decided to go their separate ways in a bid to revive their careers.

PETALING JAYA: National pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani’s decision to end their eight-year partnership could result in a reshuffle in the men’s doubles department.

World No. 11 Sze Fei-Izzuddin have decided to go their separate ways in a bid to revive their careers after failing to consistently produce good results since their German Open title triumph and Swiss Open runners-up finish last March.

This year, the pair suffered back-to-back opening round exits in the Malaysian and Indian Opens and were withdrawn from the ongoing Indonesian Masters in Jakarta.

On his charges’ decision to split up, national doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky said: “We, coaches have tried our very best to keep them together but it’s their decision to split up.

“The coaching team will have a meeting after the Indonesian Masters to make the final decision about their future.”

Rexy and the other coaches now need to discuss with Sze Fei and Izzuddin on getting new partners.

The Indonesian had paired Izzuddin with Mohd Haikal Nazri and Sze Fei with Goh Boon Zhe last December for a short while and the pairs had enjoyed some success at the lower-tier Malaysian International Challenge with the former defeating the latter in the final.

But pairing them up permanently will mean that Haikal’s current partner Wan Arif Wan Junaidi and Beh Chun Meng (Boon Zhe’s current partner) will be left without partners.

Haikal-Arif are currently ranked No. 46 while Chun Meng-Boon Zhe are ranked 156th in the world.

The timing of Sze Fei-Izzuddin’s decision is also not ideal as the one-year qualification period for the 2024 Paris Olympics begins in May and they had been earmarked as one of the pairs capable of making the cut.

Now, Sze Fei and Izzuddin will be faced with the challenge of starting from scratch with new partners and will need to race against time to climb the rankings quickly if they hope to qualify for the Olympics.

Currently, world No. 2 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and world No. 9 independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are both ahead of Sze Fei-Izzuddin in the race to Paris.

World No. 24 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun are also in the running to challenge for a spot.

Two pairs from a country can make the cut for the Olympics provided both finish in the top eight by the end of the one-year qualification period.

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