V Shem-Wee Kiong resume quest to reach Olympics despite heavy odds


PETALING JAYA: Independent doubles shuttler Goh V Shem insists that he and Tan Wee Kiong are still in high spirits although their path to the Tokyo Olympics have become tougher.

The Rio Olympics silver medallists resume their quest to qualify for the July 23-Aug 8 showpiece at the Swiss Open in Basel today with the odds heavily stacked against them due to the uncertainty surrounding the remaining qualifiers.

They were initially hopeful of featuring in six World Tour legs that offer points for the Race to Tokyo rankings, but are currently left with just five following the cancellation of next week’s German Open.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) have yet to clarify if they will be coming up with a replacement for the event although the qualifying period has now been pushed forward to June 15 instead of at the end of April.

Otherwise, the next qualifiers will be the Asian Badminton Championships (April 27-May 2), Indian Open (May 11-16), Malaysian Open (May 23-30) and Singapore Open (June 1-6).

It is worth noting that both the Opens in Malaysia and Singapore have been postponed due to Covid-19.

The Asian meet in China is also a major doubt as the organisers, Badminton Asia, are finding it tough to secure an alternative host as China’s borders are still closed.

“There have already been a number of cancellations and postponements, we can’t really predict what’s going to happen next, ” said V Shem.

“But we will not let that dampen our spirits. What we can do is to make the best of the tournaments we’re competing in, play well and get good results.

“Dwelling on what we can’t control isn’t going to help. Hopefully, we will get off to a good start in Basel.”

V Shem-Wee Kiong, who open against Denmark’s Daniel Lundgaard-Mathias Thyrri, will be out to replicate their fine form at the Thailand Open I last month when they emerged runners-up.

The duo are seeded third and look good for a semi-final berth where they could cross paths with top seeded compatriots Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

V Shem-Wee Kiong were finalists at the Swiss Open in 2012.

Currently in the Road to Tokyo race, Aaron-Wooi Yik are leading the pack in eighth spot followed by V Shem-Wee Kiong at 14th and Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin at 15th.

A country can have two pairs if both are ranked in the top eight of the final qualifying list.

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