PETALING JAYA: The improved performance of Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and the return of Nur Izzuddin Rumsani-Goh Sze Fei has intensified the race in the men’s doubles department for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games again.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun had been bugged by injuries while Izzuddin and Sze Fei split up in January and this left the battle for Olympic qualification solely with world No. 3 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and world No. 7 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.
However, independent coach Rosman Razak said the current scenario is an ideal situation as all four pairs will be pushing each other for qualification and it only augurs well for Malaysia.
A country can have a maximum of two pairs in the Olympics if they are ranked in the top eight at the end of April next year when the qualification period concludes.
Rosman said getting two spots will be tough but Malaysia can benefit from the close battle among themselves to raise the performance.
“It is an ideal situation to be and very positive for Malaysia’s perspective for the 2024 Olympics. Getting two pairs to qualify is difficult but not impossible,” said Rosman.
“It is not just about Ong-Teo trying to make their Olympics debut but now have four potential pairs who can keep each other on their toes and achieve better results.
“Wei Chong-Kai Wun also showed they have the ability to beat the best while Izzuddin-Sze Fei are also back to claim their spot. We should see the pairs getting more motivated and challenge each other in the coming tournaments.”
Although Izzuddin-Sze Fei may have to wait for couple weeks to get back on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) tour, the other three pairs will be back in action at the Singapore Open starting today after skipping the Thailand Open last week.
Aaron-Wooi Yik have a tough first match against Zhao Haodong-He Jiting of China in the first round while Wei Chong-Kai Wun, the Malaysian Masters runners-up two weeks ago, will play Germany’s Marcus Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel of Germany in the first round.
Yew Sin-Ee Yi will meet Christo Popov-Toma Junior Popov in their opening match tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the men’s singles scene will also see a rejuvenated Ng Tze Yong continue his momentum at the Lion City after reaching the quarter-finals in Bangkok last week.
Tze Yong, who lost to Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong at the Thailand Open, will play Nhat Nguyen of Ireland in the first round.
World No. 10 Lee Zii Jia also returns to competition after his second-round exit in the Malaysian Masters where he will play Weng Hongyang of China in his opening match.
It will be testing clash as Hongyang finished runner-up in the Malaysian Masters a fortnight ago.
Independent player Cheam June Wei has tough opener against All-England champion Li Shifeng of China.