Choong Hon Jian-Haikal Nazri were craving for ‘nasi briyani’ right after they clinched the Syed Modi International men’s doubles title on Sunday courtesy of a fired-up performance to stun top seeds Akira Koga-Taichi Saito.
Winning this Super 300 event came as a surprise even for these shuttlers, who were paired together only four months ago following a reshuffle.
In addition to that, this world number 93 combination were given a tough draw that included facing fourth and second seeded Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel and Ben Lane-Sean Vendy en route to the final.
Having aced those tests, they passed the final hurdle with flying colours after coming from a game down to beat Koga-Saito 18-21, 21-18, 21-16 in a 63-minute battle.
Haikal, who was a nervous figure in the first game, admitted once he overcame those jitters, everything fell into place.
“I was nervous in the first game. I knew I had to change something and after that, I managed to reset in the second game. We also have our coach to thank for guiding us from behind. He told us to find confidence in our game.
“He was right, once we found our confidence everything started to fall into place. We certainly didn’t expect to reach the final, let alone win this tournament. This is a great start for our partnership and I hope we can stay consistent after this to aim for more titles,” he said.
In winning their maiden title as a pair, Choong-Haikal ensured Malaysia clinched successive men’s doubles titles at the Syed Modi International after Tee Kai Wun-Man Wei Chong achieved it last year.
Choong-Haikal’s victory also meant Malaysian men’s doubles pairs have now clinched six titles on the World Tour this year, with Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Tee-Man and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin being the others who did so at the Denmark, Taipei & U.S. Open as well as the Kaohsiung and Abu Dhabi Masters.
Chia-Soh will have the opportunity to claim a seventh men's doubles title for Malaysia should they triumph at the upcoming World Tour Finals (Dec 13-17).