KUALA LUMPUR: The BA of Malaysia (BAM) on Wednesday announced the reunion of 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Kuala Lumpur Sea Games (KL2017) silver medallist Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi for tournaments scheduled early next year.
Honorary secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai, confirmed that the decision was made in consideration of the 2018 tournament regulations released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
“V Shem-Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi will be reunited for a few upcoming tournaments in preparation for Malaysia’s Thomas Cup campaign next year (Bangkok). As both these pairs are still highly ranked, they can help position Malaysia higher for qualification and also for seeding purposes.
“In the next few months, the old and new pairings will be entered for different tournaments. BWF have released new tournament regulations for the year 2018 onwards where there are no qualifying rounds for Level 2 and 3 tournaments, while in Level 4 and 5 tournaments, there are only 28 places in the main draw plus eight in the qualifying round.
“Therefore, there’s a risk that the new pairing of Wee Kiong-Yew Sin and V Shem-Ee Yi may not qualify to play in Level 2 and 3 tournaments at all and most of Level 4 tournaments. Hence, BAM together with the coaches and players have come to the decision to continue the pairings of V Shem-Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi for some tournaments,” Chin Chai said in a statement released by the national body.
National men’s doubles head coach, Cheah Soon Kit added: “The signs are positive as the players understand our plan for next year especially the Thomas Cup campaign.
“They were very receptive of the decision because they know that above all, the country comes first and they are also aware of the new BWF ruling. I hope they will be able to achieve the best results possible.”
As of last month, the pairings of Wee Kiong-Yew Sin and V Shem-Ee Yi were ranked No 76 and No 92 in the world, respectively, while the previous combination of V Shem-Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi were at No 18 and No 24 respectively.
Just four months ago, V Shem-Wee Kiong were the world No 1 at the end of 2016, however, they split, following a fallout between the two.
Apart from reaching the men’s doubles final in Rio, V Shem-Wee Kiong also bagged the 2016 Denmark Open and the World Super Series Finals crown in Dubai later that year.