Rexy urges Tang Jie-Ee Wei to secure early Paris Olympics qualification

KUALA LUMPUR: National coach director Rexy Mainaky has issued a challenge to mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei, urging them to secure their qualification for the Paris Olympics as early as possible next year.

Rexy believes that achieving this goal will allow the world No. 9 to reduce their tournament commitments and focus more on training.

Rexy said Tang Jie-Ee Wei's progress, promising at the start of the year, has stagnated due to the lack of recovery and preparations as a result of the hectic tournament schedule.

Since January, Tang Jie-Ee Wei competed in 28 tournaments, including 22 on the World Tour, more than any other top 10 pairs.

As a newly formed pair just 12 months ago, Tang Jie and Ee Wei did not have the luxury of being selective with tournaments.

Despite this, their hard work paid off, leading them to crack the top 10 and become the No. 1 pair in the country.

Rexy said if all goes according to plan, Tang Jie-Ee Wei could breathe easy by the end of next month.

However, they must perform well in the first three tournaments of the year — Malaysia Open Super 1000, India Open Super 750, and Indonesia Masters Super 500 — to strengthen their position in the Race to Paris.

Currently ranked No. 9 but within the top 16, Tang Jie and Ee Wei's route to securing their Olympic debut is straightforward: either being the sole Malaysian pair in the top 16 or, as a safer bet, placing themselves in the top eight by the end of April next year.

As things stand, Tang Jie-Ee Wei's position in the top 16 appears solid. The situation will only change if senior compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, currently ranked 18th and 24th respectively, produce a remarkable turnaround of fortunes over the next four months.

"I had a conversation with Ee Wei after the China Masters, and she discovered that the lack of recovery and time in training has affected her performance on the court," said Rexy.

"Ee Wei, as I know her, is a spirited and determined player, that's why her partnership with Tang Jie got off to an explosive start.

"But she was feeling jaded due to the congested schedule. It affected her mood. On a positive note, it's good that she realised it herself.

"Hopefully, they will be able to recharge after the World Tour Finals and get ready for next January."

There is a great opportunity for Tang Jie-Ee Wei to make the most of the World Tour Finals in Hangzhou next week, which offers points equivalent to a Super 1000 tournament.

Mixed doubles coach Nova Widianto has set a goal for the duo to make it out of the group stage.

"With big points on offer, I hope they will make the most of the Finals to help them with their Paris Games cause. First thing first, I want them to try their best to qualify for the semi-finals," said Nova.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories