PETALING JAYA: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky is reluctant to split Wan Arif Wan Junaidi and Yap Roy King following the partnership renewal of Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.
It has been more than four months since Sze Fei-Izzuddin ended their eight-year partnership due to a lack of trust and a string of poor results.
After they have decided to go their separate ways, Sze Fei partnered Choong Hon Jian while Izzuddin had been combined with Mohd Haikal Nazri.
Arif was paired with Roy King after his three-year partnership with Haikal ended.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin, however, decided to put their differences aside and reunite to fight for a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Their reunion could result in a reshuffle in the men’s doubles department.
Rexy hinted that Haikal might be reunited with his former partner Arif but he does not want to make decisions without considering the feelings of other shuttlers.
“Arif and Roy King have been performing well,’’ said Rexy.
“There is a chance that Arif and Haikal will reunite but I couldn’t just decide because we need to be fair.
“Previously, Haikal wanted to end his partnership with Arif in order to combine with Izzuddin.
“But now, if Arif-Roy King achieve better results, it would be unfair to Roy King if we simply end their partnership because of Haikal.”
Hon Jian has been competing in the men’s doubles with Sze Fei and mixed doubles with Go Pei Kee.
However, now that Sze Fei has reunited with Izzuddin, Hon Jian may be unable to find a partner in the men’s doubles.
“Hon Jian will focus on mixed doubles for the time being,” said Rexy.
“I will meet and discuss with coach Nova (Widianto) if he allows Hon Jian to play both events instead of focusing on one.”
Meanwhile, Sze Fei-Izzuddin will face an uphill task to climb back up the world rankings after falling to No. 32 following their split.
“They’ve started training together and we plan to send them to the US Open (July 11-16), Korean Open (July 18-23) and maybe Japan Open (July 25-30) if they qualify,” said Rexy.
“We will adjust their schedule based on their rankings because they will be unable to compete in World Tour Super 500, 750 and 1,000 tournaments if they fall out of world No. 32.
“We will force them to compete in these lower-tier tournaments that they are qualified for until the end of the Olympics qualification period.”
Sze Fei-Izzuddin face stiff competition from their teammates – world No. 3 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (No. 7) and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun (No. 22) – in the race to Paris as only two pairs from a country can make the cut, provided both are ranked in the top eight by the end of the qualification period in April next year.