KUALA LUMPUR: Doubles shuttlers Gan Teik Chai and Lin Woon Fui received a boost when they were named as the only senior men’s pair in the Malaysian badminton team for the Korat SEA Games.
“This is a real surprise for me. I have been in the national team for a while now but it will be my first appearance in the SEA Games,” said the 24-year-old Teik Chai.
His only other major tournament was the World Championships in Madrid last year where he was an early round casualty with Fong Chew Yen in the mixed doubles.
“Woon Fui and I will be the top men’s pair in the team. There will be high hopes on us and we will prove that we can be counted on in both the team and individual events,” said the Kedahan.
They forged a combination in April and reached the semi-finals of the Thailand Open last month.
The Project 2010-2012 squad’s chief coach Rashid Sidek said that besides Teik Chai-Woon Fui, the only other senior player in the SEA Games squad is Kuan Beng Hong.
“We will send a total of nine men and 10 women for the Games and the rest of the players will come from the back-up squad.
“I have until the end of next month to name them and selection will be based on their performances in several upcoming Open tournaments,” said Rashid.
For the men’s singles, among the frontrunners for places are Vietnam and Asian satellite winner Tan Chun Seang, Chan Kwong Beng and Asian Junior runner-up Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.
A prominent pair set to make their debut in the Korat Games are the Asian junior mixed doubles champions Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei.
It will be the first time that Malaysia will send a mixed team of seniors and back-up squad players to the SEA Games.