Goh-Izzuddin are hopeful of getting Thomas Cup slot after putting away world champions

Proving a point: Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani showcased their credentials to be in the Thomas Cup by beating world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae of South Korea.

PETALING JAYA: A stellar start to their Asian Championships campaign could be what men’s doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani needed to earn their spot in the Thomas Cup Finals team.

The world No. 19 pair are the only other men’s doubles duo remaining in the tournament in Ningbo, China besides top national players Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

After Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun ended their run in the second round and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi crashed out after their first matches in the Asian meet, Sze Fei-Izzuddin have increased their chances of heading to the Finals in Chengdu, China from April 27-May 5.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin made their way into the quarter-finals after their second round fixture against He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu ended prematurely as the Chinese pair retired after losing the first game 11-21 yesterday.

But it was their opening round meeting with world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae of South Korea that showed the Malaysian pair were keen to prove themselves.

The Thomas Cup hopefuls toppled the second seeds, upsetting them 21-13, 21-18 in 44 minutes on Wednesday.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin will be keeping their fingers crossed that their performance in Ningbo will be sufficient to see them picked for the Thomas Cup as their hopes to make it to the Paris Olympics have been dashed.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will name the final squad for the Thomas Cup today.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin will get further chance to impress when they play Olympic champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan next, opponents whom they have beaten only once out of three past meetings.

Meanwhile, world No. 5 Aaron-Wooi Yik booked their spot in the last eight after defeating Japan’s Kenya Mitsuhashi-Kiroki Okamura 21-18, 13-21, 21-14 in the second round and will go against world No. 8 Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi of China next in the quarter-finals.

Although they are ranked higher, Aaron-Wooi Yik have only won three out of the seven previous meetings with the Chinese pair.

The run in Ningbo came to an end for Wei Chong-Kai Wun however, as the world No. 18 pair could not get past Taiwan’s Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan, losing the match 18-21, 17-21.

In the women’s doubles, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah had crashed out in the opening round after losing 21-19, 13-21, 16-21 to Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara of Japan.

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