PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles shuttlers Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani are not ready to throw in the towel yet in the race to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin, who are currently ranked No. 26 in the world, face an uphill battle to win a spot in the Olympics as they need to break into the top eight before the qualifying period comes to a close at the end of April next year.
Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the pair have vowed to fight until the end to realise their dream of competing in the showpiece event for the first time.
The other Malaysian pairs vying for a spot in the Olympics are world No. 19 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and world No. 11 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi while world No. 3 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik look certain to make the cut.
“To be honest, it’s very hard for us to qualify for the Olympics,” acknowledged Sze Fei.
“But as long as we still have a chance, we will give it our best shot.”
Sze Fei and Izzuddin had split up in February, citing a lack of trust between them, before resolving their differences and reuniting in June.
The pair did well to capture the World Tour Super 300 US Open, Super 100 Abu Dhabi Masters and Taiwan Masters but struggled to assert themselves in higher level tourneys (Super 500 and above).
Sze Fei-Izzuddin failed to reach the semi-finals in any of the Super 500 and above tournaments that they competed in this year.
In the China Masters in Shenzhen last week, the pair had narrowly lost 23-21, 22-24, 19-21 to Japan’s world No. 16 Akira Koga-Taichi Saito in the first round.
“We had a good start after getting back together but we did not end the year well,” said Sze Fei.
“We didn’t get to where we expected to be but we are trying to do better.
“We need to improve on our communication, so that we are more clear on what to do on court.
“We also must reduce unforced errors during the crucial points in matches.”
Sze Fei-Izzuddin will next turn their attentions to the Malaysian Open from Jan 9-14 in Bukit Jalil.