World No.8 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong will get their chance to compete in the Super Series Finals which starts Wednesday at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium after all.
That however comes at the expense of teammates Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong who have withdrawn from the competition.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong qualified for the season ending tournament as the eighth ranked pair in the Super Series standings despite their inconsistent form.
The 28-year-old Kien Keat however suffered an eye infection last Friday, which became swollen and has been subsequently ruled out.
And Thien How-Wee Kiong, who won their maiden title – the Macau Open earlier this month, will be the biggest benefactors as the first reserve on the list.
They were initially thought to have missed out on the chance to compete in the Finals after the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) decided against sending them for the Hong Kong Open, which saw them finish ninth in the Super Series standings.
A check with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed Kien Keat-Boon Heong’s withdrawal and Thien How-Wee Kiong’s place in the Finals.
National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang said that Kien Keat complained of an eye infection on Friday which quickly became swollen.
“They asked me whether should they still compete and I made the decision to pull them out,” said Cheh Chang.
“It may not be a serious injury but it may be infectious and I don’t want them to put other shuttlers at risk.
“Besides, even if Kien Keat recovers in time, he will not be in his best condition and it will not be beneficial to any parties, including the supporters.
“Luckily Thien How-Wee Kiong are the first reserves and they have been playing well lately so it’s a good opportunity for them too,” added Cheh Chang.
Besides Thien How-Wee Kiong, the other pairs in the fray are three-time winners Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, China’s Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan and two Japanese pairs – Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa and Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata.
Defunct South Korean pair Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae will also make one final appearance together, with compatriots and world No.6 Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang.
The draws for the Super Series Finals will be made on Tuesday.