They are just one rung apart from each other, one at 16 and the other ranked 17 currently but both pairs are chasing for the same dream that is to make it to the world’s top game, the Rio Olympics in August.
Both V Shem/ Wee Kiong and former nationals, Koo Kien Kiet/ Tan Boon Heong were phenomenal last night when they stunned world No.5, Chai Biao/ Hong Wei and world No.2 and two times world champion, Hendra Setiawan/ Mohammad Ahsan respectively to book a place in the quarter-finals.
As only one pair in the top 16 can make the cut to Rio unless both pairs are ranked in the top eight, it certainly is going to be a tough battle between them.
Tonight, for the first time, they will face each other for a place in the semi-finals of the Yonex All England Open.
As for the experienced Kien Keat/ Boon Heong, they have won the elusive title in 2007 and were the finalist in 2011 while V Shem/ Wee Kiong will be gunning for their first title in Birmingham.