ALOR STAR: National number one Koo Kien Kiat-Tan Boon Heong who could lose their place in the Beijing Olympics following insipid performances in international tournaments thus far this year get the chance to redeem themselves in the Proton Grand Prix Finals at the Kedah BA Hall here from March 25-29.
The world number three pair had irked coach Rexy Mainaky with their early exits in the recent All-England and Swiss Open championships in which they were the defending champions. The duo also failed in the defence of the Malaysian Open crown in January.
In the national GP Finals, they are in Group A and their opponents are Chew Chun Eng-Hong Cheng Hun, Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui and Iskandar Zulkarnain-Teo Kok Siang (BJSS). Group B comprises world number four Choong Tan Fook- Lee Wan Wah, Ong Soon Hock-Tan Bin Shen, Lim Khim Wah-Mak Hee Chun and Goh Wei Chem-Ong Jian Guo.
The top two pairs in each group qualify for the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, world number two Lee Chong Wei will be gunning to win the men's singles title for the seventh time.
He is drawn in Group A with Mohd Shahrizal Latip, Chong Wei Feng and Mohd Arif Latif. Only the winner of a four-group preliminaries qualify for the semi-finals.
Group B has Tan Chun Seang, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Vountus Mawan and Wong Choong Hann. In Group C are K. Yogendran, Iskandar Zulkarnain, Yeoh Kay Bin and Mohd Roslin Hashim while Group D has Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Teo Kok Siang, Liew Daren and Chong Li Qun.
The absence of Wong Mei Choo in the women's singles opens the way for Julia Wong and Anita Kaur to battle it out for top honours.
In the mixed doubles, world junior champions Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin are tipped to play against Gan Teik Chai-Fong Chew Yen in the final.
Tickets are priced at RM5 (first three days), RM10 (semi-finals) and RM20 (finals). Bookings can be made at the Kedah BA office (04-7309808).