Hon Jian-Haikal reach career best spot at No. 20

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles shuttlers Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri were only paired up last August but after some an initial hiccups, they are showing no signs of slowing down.

In just a short span, they have now reached a career best No. 20 in the latest world rankings.

Hon Jian-Haikal, who were paired up during a partnership reshuffle in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), moved up six rungs from No. 26 after making it into the semi-finals of the Australian Open recently. They then lost to China’s world No 8 and eventual winners He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu.

It was the first time that Hon Jian-Haikal had reached the last four in a World Tour Super 500 competition.

Hon Jian-Haikal best achievements previously was capturing the back-to-back Syed Modi International and Indian Masters titles last December and the Orleans Masters in March. The duo also finished runners up in the Indonesian Masters last October.

Hon Jian-Haikal are now the fifth Malaysian men’s doubles pair currently in the world’s top 20.

The others are world No. 5 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, world No. 13 Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun (No. 16) and independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (No. 18).

The strength in depth and healthy competition between the pairs bodes well for the country in future competitions.

While Aaron-Wooi Yik will next compete in the Paris Olympics next month, the other pairs have a break from tournaments before the Japan Open in August.

Meanwhile, Hon Jian also received a boost in the mixed doubles after reaching a career high No. 40 with Go Pei Kee. The pair rose from No. 48 after reaching the quarter-finals in the Australian tourney.

Hon Jian-Pei Kee are now the fourth highest ranked mixed doubles duo in the country behind Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (No. 9) and independent pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (No. 15) and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (No. 17).

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