THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) has not been giving much emphasis on the mixed doubles but the event is now being viewed seriously as a possible medal-winning event for the 2012 London Olympics.
This is the reason why BAM didn't rush into naming the potential medallists to the Sports Ministry steering committee for the 2012 London Olympics and will only do so later next year.
The mixed doubles squad was formed in 2007 by Rexy Mainaky and slow progress has prompted a reshuffle recently.
So far, Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin has been producing decent results and the new pairings such as Fairuzizuan Tazari-Wong Pei Tty, Razif Latif-Woon Khe Wei and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are likely to be involved in a qualification battle for the London Games.
"BAM had not put much emphasis on mixed doubles in the Olympics previously but a gold is a gold. It does not matter which event we can get that in 2012," said BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Salleh yesterday.
"There has been a reshuffle and the young pairs need time to establish themselves on the international scene. We will only make recommendations to the Sports Ministry steering committee later next year.
"It will give the coaches sufficient time to evaluate the performance of the young pairs and we will know which pairs need to be groomed specifically for the London Olympics.
"We will also give our recommendations on the other events if there are new potentials. The initial list is based on the current form but we will keep tabs on emerging players."
The steering committee named Lee Chong Wei, men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari, women's doubles Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui as well as the injury-prone women's singles Wong Mew Choo as medal hopefuls for the London Olympics.
However, Mew Choo has been struggling with injuries while Pei Tty and Eei Hui are contemplating retiring after the Guangzhou Asian Games next year as the latter is injury plagued.
However, Pei Tty could see herself playing in London as she has what it take to qualify for the mixed doubles with Fairuz, while women's singles players like Julia Wong and Lydia Cheah may also make the cut in 2012.