Women’s doubles shuttlers should spar with men, says Rexy

COPENHAGEN: Indonesia’s high performance director Rexy Mainaky believes that Malaysian women’s doubles shuttlers should spar with the men regularly if they want to raise their standard.

On Wednesday, all four Malaysian women’s pairs – Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern, Lim Yin Loo-Lee Meng Yean and Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho – crashed out in the second round of the World Championships at the Ballerup Super Arena.

This was the first time that Malaysia have had four pairs at the world meet. Unfortunately, they all lacked the quality.

Rexy was pleased to see the improvement shown by the Malaysian women’s doubles shuttlers but reckoned that “they need something extra to narrow the gap with the world’s top pairs”.

Vivian-Khe Wei lost 16-21, 21-11, 10-21 to Denmark’s Line Damkjaer Kruse-Marie Roepke while the Ng sisters went down 17-21, 20-22 to Eefje Muskens-Selena Piek of Holland.

Meng Yean-Yin Loo and Amelia-Fie Cho lost to China’s Luo Ying-Luo Yu (7-21, 15-21) and Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (14-21, 16-21) respectively.

The Malaysian women’s doubles players do spar with the men but not on a regular basis.

“Rosman (Razak) is doing great as a coach with the women’s doubles. I have seen improvement, especially in Khe Wei-Vivian. They won the SEA and Commonwealth Games gold medals. But they need to be pushed more,” said Rexy.

“I would suggest that they hire full-time men sparring partners for these girls. There are plenty of players in Indonesia and China.”

Rexy revealed that he used the same method in Indonesia and it resulted in Anggia Shitta Awanda-Della Destiara Haris doing the unthinkable when they stunned top seeds Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua of China in the second round on Tuesday.

“They train with boys. Sometimes, all the men coaches, including myself, join in and spar with them. They are shown no mercy during training. It builds up their resilience and mental toughness,” said former Olympic champion Rexy.

“China are not unbeatable. Our players have proven it a few times. The others can also do it.”

Vivian agreed with Rexy’s assessment.

“Our quality has improved but it’s still not enough judging by our performances at the world meet. We have the potential ... we are motivated to step up to the plate,” said Vivian.

Said Amelia: “This time, we did not go down easily to the Chinese pair and that is a small step of progress for us. We just have to be more consistent and improve our quality. Training with the boys on a regular basis will surely help.”
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