PARIS: Youngsters Gan Teik Chai-Koo Kien Keat captured their first ever men’s doubles title in an Open tournament in Paris yesterday.
But their more illustrious teammates and former Malaysian top doubles pair Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng may have to forget about their Olympic dreams after crashing out in the semi-finals of the French Open at the Carpentier Hall.
The world number 51 Teik Chai-Kien Keat defeated Denmark's Jesper Larsen-Joachim Fisher Nielsen 15-6, 17-15 in the men’s doubles final of the US$10,000 A grade tournament.
BIG WIN: Koo Kien Keat (left) and Gan TeikChai won their first Grand Prix title afterbeating Jesper Larsen-Joachim Fisher Nielsenof Denmark 15-6, 17-15 in the French Open.
The duo had earlier upset world number 29 and Germany’s top pair Kristof Hopp-Joachim Tesche 15-2, 6-15, 15-5 in the quarter-finals and Denmark’s Thomas Jensen Rojkjaer-Tommy Sorensen 15-8, 15-6 in the semi-finals.
It was the duo’s first Grand Prix title since national doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock took charge of them last year. They had also won the invitational Luster Open last year.
The win came in just a week after the duo upset Thailand’s formidable pair of Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas to reach the second round of the All-England.
If the duo continue with their good performances, they may be able to fight for a place to represent Malaysia in the Athens Games.
While the youngsters sizzled, seniors Chong Ming-Choon Eng blew away a good chance to pick some qualifying points for the Athens Games after losing to Larsen-Nielsen 15-8, 1-15, 8-15 in the last four.
The duo are currently ranked 37th in the world and with only the Korean Open (March 30-April 4), Japan Open (April 6-11) and the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) remaining before the qualifying period end on April 30, it will be tough for the duo to finish among the top 16 to assure a place for the Athens Games.
Malaysia’s Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, the second seeds, blew away a chance to win their first GP title and some points for the Athens Olympic Games, when they crashed out in the quarter-finals.
The duo went down to China’s Du Jing-Yu Fang 17-15, 10-15, 2-15 in the quarter-finals.