Former shining star Ee Wei set to return to national fold


  • Badminton
  • Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Happy moment: Toh Ee Wei (right) and Pearly Tan celebrating after reaching the doubles semi-finals in the Asian Junior individual championships in Jakarta last year.

PETALING JAYA: Promising doubles shuttler Toh Ee Wei, who quit the national team in January last year, is set to return to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) fold.

However, the 19-year-old, who won the girls’ doubles silver medal with Pearly Tan Koong Le at the World Junior Championships in Canada in 2018, will have to wait until the full resumption of the national team’s training, expected to be in July.

Ee Wei had earlier accepted the BAM’s invitation to rejoin them in March but the return had to be deferred due to the movement control order (MCO).

Ee Wei’s comeback will be a boost for the women’s doubles department as it currently consists of only four pairs.

They are world No. 14 Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (No. 25), Pearly-M. Thinaah (No. 39) and Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling (No. 67).

The fifth pair have been crippled as Anna Cheong is without a partner after Lim Chiew Sien left the national team in March.

BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann confirmed the recruitment of Ee Wei.

“Due to the MCO, she will only join us when training is back in full swing, ” said Choong Hann.

“We offered her the opportunity to rejoin us because we can see she still has it in her.

“She’s a great young talent and will be a good addition to the women’s doubles squad.

“Of course, she will have to start all over again. We will put her on a three-month probation and she has to prove her worth. There will be no special privilege.”

Ee Wei enjoyed an illustrious junior career with Pearly since they were paired up in 2016 and they had been earmarked to be the potential national No. 1 women’s pair in future.

Apart from the World Juniors’ silver, they were also the runners-up at the 2018 Asian Junior Championships.

However, Ee Wei dropped a bombshell when she quit the national team after suffering from a chronic sinus problem.

She recovered and was offered to rejoin the BAM on May 7 last year, but did not show up because she was “not ready”.

While the BAM allowed her to defer her return, they shot down her request to play in several satellite tournaments.

An independent player can only play in Badminton World Federation (BWF)-sanctioned tournaments with the BAM’s endorsement.

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