PETALING JAYA: The national number one men’s pair of Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif have avoided Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan in the group stages of the Super Series Masters Finals, which begin on Thursday in Kota Kinabalu.
But they still have to brace for some tough battles. Fairuzizuan-Zakry qualified for the Finals as the second ranked pair in the Super Series standings behind the Markis-Hendra and can only be up against their bogey pair from the semi-finals.
But that is of little comfort as they can expect to have matches against top pairs in the likes of South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung and 2000 Sydney Olympic champions Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan, who now play under the Indonesian and American banner respectively.
Other qualifiers are team-mates Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, South Koreans Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong and two Danish pairs — Simon Mollyhus-Anders Kristiansen and Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen.
Gun-woo-Yeon-seong and Boe-Mogensen are the replacements for China’s Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun and another Danish pair Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen, who withdrew from the Series Finals, which offer a prize money of US$42,000 to the men’s doubles champions.