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  1. #1
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    Post Doubles pairs still lagging

    TheSTAr
    PETALING JAYA: South Korea and Malaysia reshuffled their men’s doubles departments after the Athens Olympic Games last year.

    The Koreans got it right with their new and young combination of Jung Jae-sung-Lee Jae-jin but Malaysia’s back-up pairs have yet to stamp their mark.

    On Sunday, Jae-sung-Jae-jin, ranked No.15 in the world, bagged their first international Grand Prix title in the Thailand Open after beating top seeds and world champion Jonas Rasmussen-Lars Paaske of Denmark 15-11, 15-5.

    They are now currently the highest ranked Korean pair following the retirements of Athens Games gold and silver medallists Kim Dong-moon-Ha Tae-kwon and Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung respectively.

    Tae-kwon, however, is still playing competitively.

    At the Thai Open, Tae-kwon teamed up with youngster Han Sang-hoon but were beaten by Malaysia’s Gan Teik Chai-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif in the quarter-finals.

    Teik Chai-Zakry, who are the fifth ranked Malaysian pair in the national team, were the top performers in the three-star tournament. They reached their first semi-finals but went down fighting 7-15, 12-15 to Paaske-Rasmussen. In the second round, they had upset fourth seeds Thomas Laybourn-Peter Steffensen of Denmark.

    Two other back-up pairs – Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui and Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock – crashed out in the quarter-finals.

    There were high expectations on the more experienced pairings of Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat and Choong Tan Fook-Chew Choon Eng but both were beaten in the last eight and semi-finals respectively by Jae-sung-Jae-jin.

    National chief coach Yap Kim Hock said the back-up shuttlers had shown improvement but had not reached the desired standard yet.

    “The Koreans have found another strong pair. These youngsters have the ability to rattle the top pairs in the world. In fact, they are the only pair who had beaten Dong-moon-Tae-kwon in a national meet last year,” said Kim Hock.

    “I was impressed with the performances of Zakry-Teik Chai in the Thai Open. They had created an upset. But they still have a long way to go. For now, we still have to rely on the seniors.”

    All the five Malaysian pairs will compete in the Japan Open starting on Wednesday in Tokyo.

    “Like Zakry-Teik Chai, I hope the other back-up doubles shuttlers can pull off some surprises in Japan. But my hope is on Chong Ming-Kien Keat. They are able to give their opponents a run for their money but unfortunately they could not sustain their tempo to win a match. All they need now is a big breakthrough,” added Kim Hock.

    Chong Ming-Kien Keat have been drawn in the same quarter with top seeds Martin Lundgaard Hansen-Jens Eriksen of Denmark and South Korean Tae-kwon-Lee Yong-dae, who are seeded sixth. Tan Fook-Wan Wah are in the same half as Jae-sung-Jae-jin and Indonesians Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (second seeds) and Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto.

    Bin Shen-Soon Hock play third seeds Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun of China in the first round while Fairuzizuan-Woon Fui are expected to meet Rasmussen-Paaske in the second round. Zakry-Teik Chai have to play in the qualifying tournament today.

  2. #2
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    IMHO, another major reshuffle is required for Malaysian MD pairings.

    The 3 senior players Chew CE, Choong TF and Chan CM are the struggling lots. They can no longer improve due to their age, so why not BAM pair them with the juniors like what Korea is doing with Ha Tae-Kwon? This will help to improve the standard of younger players in longer run.

    Lin Woon Fui/Tazari, Tan Bin Shen/Ong Soon Hock and Gan Teck Chai/Zakry still lack consistency, and definitely need greater attention from BAM.

    Also, I feel that Koo KK should focus more in XD event, since he achieves greater results with Wong PT compared to his partnership with Chan CM. From what we noticed from the media, Koo and Wong hardly train together. BAM needs a change in their mindset and should not belittle the potential great success from XD event!

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