Malaysia doubles shuttler Woon Khe Wei says she hopes the usually partisan Indonesian badminton fans will be more supportive when she plays her first match in the World Championships in Jakarta on Sunday.
Khe Wei and partner Vivian Hoo have a bye in round one, but face Japan’s Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yanao in the second round on Sunday.
“I know that there is a badminton history and rivalry between Malaysia and Indonesia which has brought out the worst from the fans of both countries. I remember when our players were booed each time we played over there,” Khe Wei told Thestar.com.my.
“The first few times were quite intimidating for me. When we questioned the umpires over decisions, we were often booed by the fans and given cold stares. Some fans even threatened to throw bottles. It was crazy.
“Things have improved over the years. I hope we will be able to put all these behind us. I hope things will be completely different with the fans showing support to us too.”
Khe Wei and Hoo are seeded 12th, while their Japanese opponents are unseeded. The pair claimed gold at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but failed to advance beyond the semi-finals of the 2014 Palembang SEA Games.