SINCE their exit from the national badminton team, things are not as bad as it seems for men’s doubles Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.
The duo have no complaints with how this year has started for them.
Dropped by BAM in December, former national No 2 Yew Sin-Ee Yi have gone on to win a title — the Thailand Masters — and reached two quarter-finals — the Malaysia and Indonesia Masters.
Yew Sin-Ee Yi’s fine run has also earned them a recall from BAM to be part of the Badminton Asia Team Championships squad later this month in Manila.
What’s more exciting is that the Olympic qualification race has also opened up, making it a three-way fight among national No 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Yew Sin-Ee Yi.
Last year’s Sea Games champions Aaron-Wooi Yik are still the frontrunners to earn a spot in this year’s Olympics as they are ranked No 9 on the Race to Tokyo list, followed by V Shem-Wee Kiong at No 11 and Yew Sin-Ee Yi a rung below.
A country is allowed a maximum representation of two pairs if they are ranked within the world’s top eight at the end of the one-year qualification period this April.
Ee Yi said: “I’m very happy with how the year has been so far for us.
“To be honest, we never gave up hope on anything when we were first dropped by the national body.
“I’m also glad we earned a call-up from BAM to join the Asian team championships.
“This proves we can still contribute to our country.”
While admitting it will be tough to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Yew Sin-Ee Yi have set their sights on another target — to be part of the Thomas Cup squad in May.
“We still have some way to go if we want to qualify for the Olympics, it won’t be easy.
“Either way, we still have six tournaments to play in before the qualification period ends, we will do our best.
“Having said that, if we can do well, we’d be more than happy to serve our country at the Thomas Cup (Aarhus, Denmark) in May.”
Ee Yi also revealed that he and Yew Sin have secured the services of former international Chew Choon Eng as their coach.
Choon Eng also coaches V Shem-Wee Kiong and independent mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.