KUALA LUMPUR: It is doubles shuttler Goh V Shem’s first World Championships and he is not the least jittery about it.
In fact, the 23-year-old V Shem is ready to rumble in his debut with his partner Lim Khim Wah when the 20th edition of the World Championships begins on Aug 5 at Guangzhou.
The duo are unseeded but they are seen as spoilers by many of their opponents over their ability to strike when they are least expected to do so.
In May, the duo stunned China’s second pair Hong Wei-Shen Ye for a semi-final finish in the Asian Badminton Championships in Taiwan and a few weeks later, they upset Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong en route to the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold title.
However, V Shem’s only bone of discontent for the world meet is the unfavourable draw. Barring any upsets, V Shem-Khim Wah will likely face their team-mates Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong in the second round.
The 11th seeded Thien How-Wee Kiong have a first round bye while Khim Wah-V Shem take on Scotland’s Martin Campbell-Patrick MacHugh in their opener. If they do clash in the second round, the winners are expected to face four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China in the third round.
“We travel so far away to Guangzhou to only meet out own team-mates in early round. That is horrible,” said V Shem.
“But of course, we will have to put our friendship aside and focus on beating our opponents – even though we are team-mates. Khim Wah and I are hoping to progress as far as possible in this world meet.
“Khim Wah has played in a world meet before (in 2011) and he has the experience to guide and lead me.”
If V Shem-Khim Wah make it to the third round, they will square off with Cai Yun-Hai Feng.
They have lost to the maestros from China twice in 2011 but in both occasions, they went down fighting. They lost 22-24, 17-21 in the quarter-finals of the Asian Badminton Championships and were defeated 21-19, 21-16 in the second round of the French Open.
“On paper, it does look tough. We have never beaten Cai Yun-Haifeng. Their form have dropped this year. This could be due to lack of training and injuries or they could be just holding back their punches. We have given them a run for their money in the past and we plan to do the same if we were to meet them again.” he said.
“For me, there is no fear nor nervousness right now. All I want to do is to play well with Khim Wah and show that Malaysia have more than one good pair in the country,” he added.
Besides V Shem-Khim Wah, the other Malaysian qualifiers for the world meet are second seeds Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Thien How-Wee Kiong and professionals Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari.
For the record, Kien Keat-Boon Heong are still the best performers – having reached the final of the world meet in Paris in 2010.