KUALA LUMPUR: National back-up doubles shuttler Lim Khim Wah will go all out to save his partnership with Chan Peng Soon by doing well in back-to-back tournaments in Terengganu and Vietnam.
The Terengganu Open begins today and the Grand Prix Gold event in Ho Chi Minh City will be held next week.
Although Khim Wah-Peng Soon have been named as the third ranked pair for the Laos SEA Games behind Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boong Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, their future together is not assured.
Coach Pang Cheh Chang said that they had until the end of October to decide on whether to split or retain the partnership.
The fate of five other pairs – Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock, Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong, Vountus Indra Mawan-Goh Wei Shem, Teo Kok Siang-Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid and Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Khoo Chung Chiat – will also be known by then.
Cheh Chang added that the pairs they formed after the two tournaments would be retained for the whole of next year.
“The coach is looking for a good results from us, especially in the Vietnam Open,” said Khim Wah yesterday.
“We remain as a pair if we reach the semi-finals. It is a good challenge and it will motivate us to do even better.
“I have had three different partners and was also without one for some time. Now I want to continue seeking my badminton fortunes with Peng Soon.”
Khim Wah-Peng Soon became the first back-up pair from the current batch to win an international Open tournament – in Thailand in July. They defeated former national pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah in the final.
In the Terengganu Open, their biggest stumbling block will be second seeds Fairuzizuan-Zakry following the withdrawal of top seeds Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“The absence of Koo-Tan will not make a big difference to us. Our first real test will still be against Fairuzizuan-Zakry as early as the second round. We will give our best,” said Khim Wah.
“A good showing in either the Terengganu Open or Vietnam Open will also be a big boost for us ahead of our first outing in the SEA Games. In Laos, we will be more than happy if we get to chance to play in the team event.”
For the Terengganu Open, the pairs in the same half of the draw as Fairuzizuan-Zakry and Khim Wah-Peng Soon are Thien How-Soon Hock, Razif-Chung Chiat and former national pair Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choong Eng.
In the absence of Koo-Tan, veterans Tan Fook-Wan Wah are the favourites to reach the final from the other half of the draw, which also has Hee Chun-Wee Kiong and Wei Shem-Vountus.
Meanwhile, it was also confirmed at the team managers’ meeting yesterday that women’s singles shuttler Wong Mew Choo has withdrawn because of injury.
In the men’s singles, Mohd Hafiz Hashim is the favourite to win the title in the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who is recovering from a knee injury.
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