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Ee Wei rises under Paulus' wings

MIXED doubles Choong Hon Jian-Toh Ee Wei are still considered rough diamonds but are on the right track to becoming precious gems under the guidance of coach Paulus Firman.

On Sunday, the young pair bagged their third international title on the trot when they upstaged top seeds William Villeger-Sharone Baker of France 16-21, 21-9, 21-19 in the Austrian Open final in
Styria.

Their other wins were at the Polish Open in March and the Slovenia International two weeks ago.

For Ee Wei, it is a whole new beginning.

Following her return to the national team last year, the 20-year-old had struggled to find her footing in the women's doubles department.

That was until national mixed doubles coach Paulus decided to take her under his wing.

And for that, Ee Wei is grateful.

"It's great to win three straight titles.

"We would not be here if it wasn't for Paulus.

"He was the one who asked me to give the mixed doubles department a shot.

"I did, and I am glad he gave me that opportunity," said Ee Wei.

"But we still have a long way to go.

"We have to remain humble and continue to train hard," added the 2018 World Junior Championships girls' doubles silver medallist.

It is understood that Paulus, through his experience with the Indonesian national squad (1997-2012), felt that Ee Wei and Hon Jian (formerly men's doubles) were more suited for mixed doubles.

For the record, Hon Jian-Ee Wei were only paired up in February after Chinese New Year.

Paulus and his assistant, Teo Kok Siang, are also in charge of World No 26 Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See and 46th-ranked Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.

With no upcoming tournaments or training programme due to the global Covid-19 situation and the recent surge in Malaysia, Paulus was cleared to return to his hometown in Jakarta recently.

In his absence, Kok Siang will oversee the mixed doubles squad after his 14-day quarantine upon arrival from Austria.

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