PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun could provide another option for Malaysia in the men’s doubles in the Thomas Cup next year based on their strong showing in their debut World Championships.
The national pair gave China’s world No. 3 Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang a huge scare before going down 16-21. 21-14, 17-21 in the third round at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen on Thursday.
Despite the defeat, it was a commendable display from world No. 25 Wei Chong-Kai Wun who showed they have the star qualities. The duo had also taken Weikeng-Wang Chang to three games before losing in the Singapore Open in June.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun, who were promoted from the reserve list in the world meet, have proven that they can add to the options for the country in the prestigious Thomas Cup next year which will be held in Chengdu, China.
The two pairs ahead of them are Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.
The younger pair have made heads turn since they finished runners-up in the Malaysian Masters in May and successfully defended their Taiwan Open title in June.
Although they lost in the opening round in their three tournaments after the Taiwan tourney - the Korean, Japan and Australian Opens – Wei Chong-Kai Wun showed in the world meet that they have what it takes to perform much better.
Despite playing well against the much higher ranked Chinese pair, the duo were dejected to let slip a good chance to advance to the quarters.
“We feel we had a good opportunity to win but we could not make the most of it,” lamented Wei Chong. “It was neck and neck towards the end but we played it safe while our opponents were braver during the crucial points and this made the difference.”
Kai Wun said: “We lost out a bit in terms of mental strength. We hope to come back stronger in our next tournament.”
Their seniors - Yew Sin-Ee Yi, the world No. 8 and 2021 bronze medallists, had earlier lost 15-21, 10-21 to homesters and world No. 11 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the third round.
“We are disappointed with this result as we could not give our opponents a better fight,” said Yew Sin.
Said Ee Yi: “They handled the pressure better while we made too many mistakes.”
There was some good news when defending champions Aaron-Wooi Yik made it to the quarter-finals after a rousing 21-16, 21-18 win over Taiwan’s reigning Olympics gold medallists Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin to set up a meeting against China’s world No. 7 Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi.