Rising stars Tang Jie-Ee Wei stay grounded

KUALA LUMPUR: Instead of basking in the limelight after bagging their maiden title in the BWF World Tour, national mixed doubles duo Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei prefer to keep a low profile.

Yesterday, Tang Jie-Ee Wei became the first Malaysian shuttlers to win a World Tour tournament this season after defeating Taiwan's Ye Hong Wei-Lee Chia Hsin in the Orleans Masters final in France.

Well aware of the high expectation and media attention that come with every success story, Ee Wei told Timesport: "Tang Jie and I would like to keep a low profile. We don't want too much hype just because we won a title.

"Of course, winning here is a very important breakthrough for us, but we have to continue working hard."

Since being paired late last year, Tang Jie-Ee Wei have captured a total of three titles — they won the Bangladesh International last December and Iran International two months ago — from four final appearances.

"We were only paired late last year, others are way ahead of us in terms of experience," said Ee Wei who pointed out that their communication, on and off the court, has been the key driving force behind the pair's strong showing this season.

"Tang Jie and I don't keep things to ourselves. If he's unhappy with something, he will say it... likewise with me.

"In fact, we had a quarrel when we were testing the court before the start of the Orleans Masters. I believe this is the best way to improve.

"It's important to know the difference. Once outside the court we're good friends again. There is nothing personal." added Ee Wei.

Following their Orleans Masters success, Tang Jie-Ee Wei are expected to move up a few rungs from their current world No 26 ranking today, and also get selected for the Malaysian team to the Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, China on May 14-21.

"We haven't really thought about it, because our focus is on finding the best version of ourselves. We want to be more consistent. If we are given the chance, then we will give our best," Ee Wei said.

Meanwhile former men's doubles world No 1 Koo Kien Keat urged fans and the media to not "over-hype" Tang Jie-Ee Wei's Orleans Masters success.

"Please don't pressure them, it's only their first World Tour title. It's only going to get harder and more difficult for them, and they know this.

"I've seen Tang Jie play. He's got good power. He's improved a lot surely.

"As for Ee Wei, I only started following her game recently and she's a very daring player.

"They've got potential, but please let them progress at their own pace."

Although they are not part of the newly announced Road to Gold (RTG) programme, Tang Jie-Ee Wei's ability to win a World Tour event proves that they are worthy contenders for a spot in next year's Paris Olympics.

They can certainly contend with world No 7 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and world No 12 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, and look capable of unseating one of these two senior independent pairs if they continue to rise.

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