PETALING JAYA: Malaysian number one Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng will not be among the seeded pairs when the International Badminton Federation (IBF) make the seeding today for the World Championships in Birmingham.
But it will not dampen their spirit to throw in a strong challenge in the championships, which will be played from July 28-Aug 3.
Being unseeded would mean that Chong Ming-Choon Eng, who were the semi-finalists in the last championships in Seville in 2001, might run into fancied pairs in the early rounds.
Among them are South Korea's Ha Tae-kwon-Kim Dong-moon and Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung, who are expected to be the top two seeds.
Among the other top pairs who will be seeded include Denmark's Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard, who are ranked third in the world, and the fifth-ranked Thai combination of Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas. Indonesians Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto, who were the winners in the 1997 championships in Glasgow, are also strong contenders.
Choon Eng said that they were looking forward to the tough challenges ahead.
“Regardless of how the draw turns out (on Friday), we will go in there to fight for it. We will make life difficult for any of the seeded pairs if we play against them. That is our promise,” said Choon Eng, who will also feature in the mixed doubles partnering Chin Eei Hui.
The men's doubles event takes priority and the 27-year-old Choon Eng said that it was important for them to beef themselves up physically in the remaining days in training before they leave for Birmingham next Thursday.
“We have to be very fit to survive if we are to play against the top pairs in the early round. Our preparations are more thorough this time,” he said.
The World Championships will be the first top-flight international for Choon Eng-Chong Ming in five months.
Choon Eng injured his ankle at the All-England in February while Chong Ming injured his elbow in his partnership with Koo Kien Keat in the Swiss Open the following week. The injuries kept them out of the Japan and Korean Opens.
They were fielded in the Transnasional Invitational Challenge against South Korea early this month. Chong Ming-Choon Eng played one match together in Alor Star against Dong-soo-Dong-moon and they were beaten in three games.
The outing in Birmingham will be Choon Eng's fourth apperance in the World Championships. He also played in Glasgow '97 and Copenhagen '99, partnering Rosman Razak and Lee Wan Wah respectively.
For Chong Ming, it will be his third appearance. His first was in 1999, partnering Jeremy Gan.
Besides Choon Eng-Chong Ming, Malaysia will also be represented in the men's doubles by veterans Wan Wah-Choong Tan Fook, who were also semi-finalist in the last championships in 2001.