KUALA LUMPUR: Seasoned campaigner Lin Woon Fui is hoping that his partnership with youngster Hoon Thien How will provide the spark to re-ignite his badminton career.
The 26-year-old Woon Fui, who just a few months ago thought that his days with the national team were numbered, is now looking at qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games with Thien How.
The Woon Fui-Thien How combination was one of the new pairs that emerged from coach Rexy Mainaky’s mix-and-match and swapping exercise of the elite back-up team this year.
Woon Fui is keeping his fingers crossed that there would be no more changes.
“We combine very well. We may have only played in two tournaments together, but I think he is the best partner for me so far,” said Woon Fui, whose former partner Gan Teik Chai decided to become an independent player.
Woon Fui-Thien How competed in the Indian Open and the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) in Suwon, South Korea, this month and reached the quarter-finals in both tournaments.
In the ABC, they knocked out German Open champions Lee Yong-dae-Shin Baek-cheol of South Korea but lost to the lower ranked China pair of Chai Biao-Lu Xiaolong.
We could not have asked for a better start. We managed to defeat players rated higher than us. That gave us a lot of confidence,” said Woon Fui.
“I have been with the BAM for many years but without any outstanding results. With Thien How, I think we have a shot at making it big.
“We need to keep this momentum going. One way is to keep playing in tournaments and get as many opportunities to play against the top pairs. It will help us strengthen our partnership,” he said.
The other pairs in the elite back-up squad are Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong, Vountus Indra Mawan-Goh Wei Shem and Ong Soon Hock-Khoo Chung Chiat.