Malaysia doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky admitted it was not an ideal situation to lose a top 10 pair in Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin.
However, he backed the new pairings Goh-Choong Hon Jian, Izzuddin-Haikal Nazri and Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King to come good.
Goh-Izzuddin were among the top ranked pairs in the world before they decided to go separate ways, a decision that led to this reshuffle in the national men’s doubles department.
“I admit, I had a tough time picking these combinations. We had already planned the shuttlers’ tournaments for this year, and this had to happen. Sometimes players’ egos also come to play, but now we must move forward.
“We have lost a top 10 pair, yes, but if we get three good pairs from this reshuffle then it’s a good move. We will now give them an opportunity to prove themselves. Let’s see who is the best pair after the upcoming tournaments we send them to,” said Rexy.
The new pairs will get to test their respective partnerships at the Thailand, Vietnam and Osaka International Challenge as well as the China Masters, all taking place in March.
Choong is primarily a mixed doubles shuttler and his career highlights came with Toh Ee Wei that saw the pair clinch three titles in Europe in 2021.
Haikal, meanwhile, was partnered with Wan Junaidi and the pair also did well in lower-tier tournaments, winning three titles in 2021.
Last year, they won the Malaysia International in December and also finished second at the Orleans Masters.
As for Yap, he is a mixed doubles shuttler and plays with Valeree Siow, mostly in lower-tier events.