# Inconsistency makes it tougher for men’s doubles 

By Rizal Abdullah

Malaysian shuttlers have a battle of their own in the men’s doubles as the ticket to the Rio Olympics in August heats up between national No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and professionals Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.

The battle between the two pairs will come to a boil when the Malaysia Open 2016 gets underway at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam from April 5-10.

V Shem-Wee Kiong got the better of the Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the recent Yonex All-England Championships in Birmingham – giving Malaysia’s No 1 pair, who are ranked No 13 in the world rankings pair a big boost in the chase to Rio.

However the wheel of fortunes swung in Kien Keat-Boon Heong favour at the Swiss Open in Basel last week when the privateers reached the semi-finals while V Shem-Wee Kiong suffered a surprise defeat in the second round.

V Shem-Wee Kiong fell to a shock 17-21, 14-21 defeat to unheralded Mathias Christiansen-David Daugaard of Germany in the second round. The Germans are ranked a low No 41 in the world.

What surprised more was that V Shem-Wee Kiong came as runners-up in last year’s Swiss Open and were expected to reach the semi-finals at least.

V Shem blamed it on fatigue as the pair played in three major tournaments in as many weeks but Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director is certainly unhappy with the pair’s performance in Basel.

World No 15 Kien Keat-Boon Heong also lamented on the failure to make the final as a place in the final would have brightened things up for the duo in their bid to reach their third Olympics.

They played in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. With the chase for Olympic points coming to a close at the end of next month things will only get tougher.

Three major tournaments could decide who will be on the flight to Rio de Janeiro – the Indian Open (March 29-April 3), Malaysian Open (April 5-10) and the Singapore Open (April 12-17).

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