Break-up pair Izzuddin-Sze Fei are back again

KUALA LUMPUR: Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Goh Sze Fei have made a sensational return as a pair, barely four months after parting ways unhappily.

And Badminton Association of Malaysia president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria shared a photo of himself with the duo and doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky on his Instastory today.

The caption read: "One team, once again! They are back."

Rexy has also confirmed that Izzuddin and Sze Fei will be a pair again after the duo put aside their differences.

"Yes, they are back as a pair. It's the players who requested to be paired up again," Rexy said briefly.

Izzuddin and Sze Fei are still ranked in the world's top 32, making them eligible for most of the World Tour events.

The pair had previously requested to be split up after failing to produce the desired results in the last nine months of their seven-year partnership.

The last straw came when they were eliminated in the first round of the Malaysia Open and India Open in January.

Last year, they won the German Open and were finalists in the Swiss Open in March. They also reached their career-best ranking of world No. 9.

After their split, Izzuddin was paired up with Haikal Nazri while Sze Fei played alongside Choong Hon Jian. The two pairs only managed to participate in several tournaments between March and April.

Izzuddin and Haikal's best result was runners-up at the Super 100 China Masters, while Sze Fei and Hon Jian also had a second-place finish at the Thailand International Challenge.

However, both Izzuddin and Haikal probably realized that qualifying for the Paris Olympics next year would be a tough challenge with their new partners, as they are still ranked low.

Izzuddin and Haikal are ranked 114th, while Sze Fei and Hon Jian are at 120th, making it difficult for them to make the cut for the World Tour events, which offer substantial ranking points compared to the continental circuit.

It remains to be seen when Izzuddin and Sze Fei will enter the race for the Paris Olympics, but the earliest tournaments they could participate in would be the Canada Open and US Open, which are Super 500 and Super 300 events.

However, Izzuddin and Sze Fei will face fierce competition not only from their national teammates Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik and Man Wei Chong and Tee Kai Wun, who impressed with a runners-up finish at last week's Malaysia Masters, but also from professionals Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.

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