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The Maybank Malaysia International Challenge Badminton Championship was a place for some BAM coaches to try out new partnerships among their charges. Although it is just a temporary plan for now, some of the new pairings have been blooming in Alor Setar.  Chow Mei Kuan who use to only compete in the mixed doubles have been given the responsibility to play in the womens’ doubles as well.

In addition, instead of pairing up with her usual partner Wong Fai Yin, she is currently partnering Tan Chee Tean and their partnership has produced good results qualifying for the semi-finals in Alor Setar. Although this is their first tournament together, she looked comfortable partnering Chee Tean. The duo defeated Muhammad Rian Ardianto/ Masita Mahmudin of Indonesia today and faces Bodin Issara/ Savitree Amitrapai of Thailand tomorrow afternoon.

As for her doubles, Mei Kuan has been paired up with teammate, Lai Pei Jing and they went as far as the quarter-finals stage in Alor Setar. Being just their first tournament, Mei Kuan is adapting well in both categories.
In the womens’ singles Polish International Series champion, Ho Yen Mei continued her fine run in Alor Setar after disposing her opponent from Indonesia, Florencya Vioni, 21/17, 21/19. She will compete against Dinar Dyah Ayustine for a place in the finals. According to national womens’ singles coach, Wong Tat Meng, Yen Mei has not given her 100% yet.

“No doubt she has been doing well in this competition, I would not say that Yen Mei is at her best yet. Despite making it into the semi-finals, her condition has not been up to the mark. However, instead of feeling agitated, she has been able to stay calm throughout this competition. As a coach, I feel that this is a smart way of showing your opponents that you are capable of overcoming the situation although you may not be in the best condition. Anyway, I do hope that Yen Mei will be able to raise the standard of her game tomorrow knowing that her opponents get tougher and more challenging in every stage. Nevertheless, I believe that she can do it,” said Tat Meng at the KBA badminton hall.

The last time Malaysia won a gold in womens’ singles was from Lydia Cheah back in 2012. Therefore, hopes are on Yen Mei to clinch the title this year.

The others who made it to the semi-finals were Soong Joo Ven, Iskandar, womens’ doubles , Joyce Choong/ Yap Cheng Wen and mens’ doubles, Ow Yao Han/ Chooi Kah Ming. Malaysia is assured a finals when Iskandar meets Joo Ven tomorrow.