Prior to the Sudirman Cup, no one knew much about Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See.
But now, everyone remembers them following their sensational performance in Finland on Friday.
Pang Ron-Yee See delivered Malaysia's winning point in the historic 3-2 win over favourites Indonesia in the quarter-finals. It was the first time Malaysia had defeated their rivals in the Sudirman Cup.
Following the departure of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai from the national setup, Pang Ron-Yee See and Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei were thrown into the deep end and expected to perform.
Pang Ron-Yee See, who were only paired up three years ago, started enjoying success in 2019 when they won three titles — Super 100 Hyderabad Open, India International Challenge and Bangladesh International Challenge.
However, their slow rise quickly came to a halt in 2020 due to Covid-19, and they only made a comeback on the international stage in January this year at the Asian Leg of the World Tour in Bangkok.
Despite not playing for nearly a year, the pair still did reasonably well under coach Paulus Firman to reach the Toyota Thailand Open semi-finals.
For the record, Paulus was only made head coach for the mixed doubles department in May 2020 after Chin Eei Hui was released by the BA of Malaysia (BAM).
Paulus, who previously played an important role in the rise of Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, believes his charges can go far.
"I only took over the mixed doubles department last year, and because of the pandemic, the players had no tournaments to play in," said Paulus yesterday.
"They only restarted their campaign in the Asian Leg of the World Tour in Thailand.
"So with limited tournaments, I am extremely proud with their performance here in Vantaa.
"Not only were they heroes in the opening group match against England but also the quarter-finals against Indonesia.
"It shows that they have the quality to go far."
On Friday, the world No 27 defeated fourth-ranked Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 to seal Malaysia's winning point over Indonesia.
"We are really excited with this result over the higher-ranked Indonesia pair. We went in as the underdogs and gave it our best," said Pang Ron.
Malaysia played Japan in the semi-finals late yesterday.
Q-FINAL RESULTS — China bt Denmark 3-2, South Korea bt Thailand 3-2, Japan bt Taiwan 3-1, Malaysia bt Indonesia 3-2 (Lee Zii Jia bt Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-11, 21-16; Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik bt Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-12, 21-15; S.Kisona lost to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 20-22, 21-18, 19-21; Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah lost to Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu 20-22, 21-17, 18-21; Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See bt Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-19, 9-21, 21-16).