PETALING JAYA: Promising doubles shuttler Toh Ee Wei will rejoin the national team next Monday with renewed determination.
The 19-year-old has all the reasons to be in high spirits as she is grateful for the second chance given by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to resurrect her career after leaving the national team 18 months ago.
And all she wants to do now is to justify the national body’s faith in her.
“I would like to thank BAM for granting me a second chance. I didn’t think twice about accepting it, ” said Ee Wei.
“I will train hard and prove my worth in the team. Ultimately, I hope to re-establish myself as a national player and do my country and BAM proud.”
Ee Wei’s enthusiasm is understandable as she had dropped a bombshell last year in January when she quit the national team although she was one of the most promising stars having won the girls’ doubles silver medal with Pearly Tan Koong Le at the World Junior Championships in Canada in 2018.
The duo were also the runners-up at the 2018 Asian Junior Championships.
Ee Wei had enjoyed an illustrious junior career with Pearly since they were paired up in 2016 and were earmarked to be a potential national No. 1 women’s pair in the future but a chronic sinus problem disrupted her progress.
She took a break to recover and was offered to rejoin the BAM on May 7 last year, but did not show up for training because she said she was “not ready”.
While the BAM allowed her to defer her return, they shot down her request to play in several satellite tournaments as an independent player.
That decision did not go down well with her and she decided to leave the BAM.
Now that her troubled season is over, Ee Wei believes she has not lost her touch despite not playing top-lev el badminton over the last 18 months.
“I’ll pick up from where I left off last year. After all, I’m no stranger to BAM. I joined the BJSS (Bukit Jalil Sports School) when I was 13.
“I did not stop training even though I had no official tournaments to compete in when I left last year. I played in some club-level meets in Thailand though.
“I met a lot of nice people who were willing to help me with my training. My personal badminton coach trained me for free while I was fully sponsored by The Fitness Playground in Kuala Lumpur, ” added Ee Wei, who also won a bronze medal with Chen Tan Jie in the mixed doubles event at the 2016 world juniors in Bilbao, Spain.
The others in the women’s doubles department headed by Chan Chong Ming are world No. 14 Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (No. 25), Pearly-M. Thinaah (No. 39), Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling (No. 67) and Anna Cheong, who is without a partner after Lim Chiew Sien left in March.
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