Hard task for top doubles pair in Odense

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s elite men’s doubles shuttlers – Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif – have been tasked with ending the hot run of Indonesia’s second stringers in the Denmark Open from Oct 20-25 in Odense.

Based on the draw for the ninth-leg of the Super Series, which was released on Tuesday, Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Fairuzizuan-Zakry have been drawn in the same half with three Indonesian pairs – Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki-Rian Sukmawan, Mohd Ahsan-Bona Septano and Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan.

Yonathan-Rian and Ahsan-Bona are the rising stars in Indonesia’s national team while seasoned campaigners Alven-Hendra are the country’s independent players.

Of the three, Yonathan-Rian have shown drastic improvement recently.

At the Japan Open in Tokyo last month, the duo achieved their best result in an international tournament when they emerged as runners-up to their more illustrious pair of Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan.

In the Denmark Open, Yonathan-Rian are expected to cross path with second seeds Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the second round.

The winners of this match are expected to run into one of these three pairs – veterans Lars Passke-Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark, Ahsan-Bona and Malaysia’s independent players Tan Bin Shen-Gan Teik Chai – in the quarter-finals.

Fairuzizuan-Zakry face a challenging task of making the top eight as they are in the same quarter with Alven-Hendra.

Drawn in the top half with top seeds and reigning Japan Open champions Markis-Hendra are China’s Guo Zhengdong-Xu Chen, Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark and England’s Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson.

National doubles coach Ros-man Razak views the draw with mixed feelings.

“It is unfortunate that all three Malaysian pairs are in the same half of the draw. But I hope that the elite pairs (Koo-Tan and Zakry-Fairuzizuan) will live up to expectations,” said Rosman.

“The Indonesians – especially Yonathan and Rian – have been doing well. We hope that our players will put an end to their good run.

“A good showing against the Indoensians will give us the psychological edge ahead of the Laos SEA Games. Eventually, all these pairs from Malaysia and Indonesia are bound to meet each other at the biennial Games in December,” added Rosman, who revealed that they had been working hard on the elite pairs’ physical condition.

“The players have also assessed what went wrong at the last Super Series. Hope­­fully, they will be able to achieve something at the Denmark Open,” he said.

In the Japan Open, Kien Keat-Boon Heong went down to Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa-Kenta Kazuno in the opening round while Fairuzizuan-Zakry lost to Yonathan-Rian for the first time in the quarter-finals.

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