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Thread: Pairs can be world champs
08-27-2005, 05:41 AM #1
Pairs can be world champs
NST August 27:
REXY Mainaky’s first target, when he was appointed national men’s doubles coach in July, was to produce Malaysia’s first ever world champions in Madrid next year.
And following the Malaysians’ performance in the World Championships in Anaheim last week, Rexy strongly believes that any one of the three pairs — Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat, Lin Woon Fui-Fairuzizuan Tazari and Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock — are capable of achieving the feat.
The Indonesian doubles legend is confident as the Malaysians, compared to their challengers from South Korea, Indonesia and China, are performing better and should be ready for the task in Madrid in September, 2006.
Chong Ming-Kiean Keat were the surprise of the tournament as they reached the semi-finals after they upset All-England champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China and Athens Olympics bronze medallists Eng Hian-Flandy Limpele of Indonesia, while Woon Fui-Fairuzizuan and Bin Shen-Soon Hock produced quality performances in Anaheim.
"What I saw in Anaheim was very encouraging. Our younger players actually performed better compared to their rivals and we can win the 2006 world championships," said Rexy yesterday.
"My personal target was to produce a world champion pair in Madrid and I am confident now. I have faith that it could come from one of our three young pairs.
"Chong Ming-Kien Keat, Woon Fui-Fairuz and Bin Shen-Soon Hock performed beyond expectations and they are progressing faster than their rivals.
"Three of the world’s top five pairs are in their 30s and on the way out while our players are on the rise.
"There is still room for improvement and with hard work and self-belief, our young combinations can make the difference."
Although Americans Tony Gunawan-Howard Bach achieved the great feat of winning the world title in Anaheim, they are unlikely to be able to consistently win honours and Rexy is quite sure that current World No 1 Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto of Indonesia will retire soon.
Top Danish pairs Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen, ranked second, and Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen, ranked fourth, are past their prime and will not pose major threats.
In fact, the only genuine challenge from the senior pairs is likely to come from another Malaysian pair - Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Rexy is upbeat that his prediction will become reality in Madrid.
"I am not basing my assessment on how many players will be out of the scene. Our players are capable of playing better next year," said Rexy.
"The current top pairs, should they decide to continue playing in 2006, will not be strong anymore and I don’t see any young pairs emerging to replace them.
"It will be an open chance in Madrid and we must take it."
Chong Ming-Kien Keat, who have shown rapid progress since pairing up in November last year, will lead Malaysia’s three-pronged attack in Madrid but as Rexy believes, it could be any of the Malaysian pairs who win.
08-27-2005, 11:11 PM #2
Very encouraging. Rexy is a good guy, I spoke with him during WC2005, nice guy and very down to earth.
08-28-2005, 12:03 AM #3
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