Tang Jie-Ee Wei must toughen up, says coach

KUALA LUMPUR: Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei are still an incomplete mixed doubles pair.

The World No. 9 must improve their physical game to be a medal prospect at the Paris Olympics in July, according to coach Nova Widianto.

Nova said Tang Jie-Ee Eri still lack fitness and endurance compared to other top pairs.

With only four months remaining in the one-year Olympic qualifying period, Tang Jie-Ee Wei are committed to addressing their weaknesses.

The Taiwan Open and Orleans Masters champions are training diligently at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara to prepare for next week's Malaysia Open.

"From the World Tour Finals in December, we could see that Tang Jie-Ee Wei didn't have the endurance to play in long matches.

"Yes, they defeated Japan's Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino, but Tang Jie-Ee Wei are still far from playing well consistently.

"This, I believe, will change when they improve their lower-body physical strength.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei were only paired in December 2022 and have already done well to break into the world top 10.

However, Nova and BA of Malaysia coaching director Rexy Mainaky believe Tang Jie-Ee Wei are good enough to be a top four pair before the Paris Olympics in July.

After reaching the quarter-finals in their Malaysia Open debut last year, Tang Jie-Ee Wei will be hoping to go a step further.

They play France's Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue in the first round.

Both pairs have a 1-1 head-to-head record, with the French world No. 11 coming out on top in their last encounter in the semi-finals of the China Open in September.

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