KUALA LUMPUR: The more the merrier as far as mixed doubles shuttler Chen Tang Jie is concerned.
Tang Jie is delighted that the depleted mixed doubles squad have now been strengthened with the arrival of Chan Peng Soon and Valeree Siow, and turned the usually dull daily training sessions into fun ones once again.
The return of Rio Olympic Games silver medallist Peng Soon into the national team, who has been paired up with Valeree, meant that the mixed doubles department now composed of four pairs.
Besides Tang Jie and his partner Peck Yen Wei, the other two combinations are Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See and Choong Hon Jian-Toh Ee Wei.
Tang Jie hasn’t felt such dynamic vibe for a long time, especially since the departure of two senior pairs – Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie – 12 months ago.
“I’m really happy that Peng Soon has returned. With him and Valeree joining us, the training session is vibrant once more,” said Tang Jie, who turns 24 tomorrow.
“I always find it more enjoyable to train in a livelier atmosphere.
“Things have certainly not been the same since our seniors left us last year.
“There were only six of us left. Hon Jian and Ee Wei only joined us last year, but Ee Wei could not train for some time because of a health issue.
“Hopefully the mixed doubles squad will be expanded further later this year.
“In fact, since the doubles department has been combined into one (under the leadership of coaching director Rexy Mainaky), we have had joint-training sessions with the men and women’s doubles, too.”
Tang Jie-Yen Wei will be aiming for a better fortunes in 2022, starting by impressing in the Indian Open (Jan 11-16) and Syed Modi International (Jan 18-23).
Due to the absence of a number of top pairs, Tang Jie-Yen Wei were seeded third for the Indian Open and second for the Syed Modi International.
“We’re hoping to make these advantages (seedings) count, but we will not underestimate anyone at the same time,” said Tang Jie.
“Our best results in a World Tour event were the semi-finals, so we’re seeking to go one step further.”
Tang Jie-Yen Wei made an encouraging progress in early 2018 but that came to a halt a year later when Yen Wei suffered an injury.
Tang Jie-Yen Wei have not played in any tournament since the latter’s injury in October 2019 but they had a good 2018.
They won the Malaysian International Challenge and earned three World Tour semi-final appearances – at the Taiwan Open, Thailand Masters and Spain Masters.