A roaring threat


Chen Tangjie (right) with partner Peck Yen Wei

PETALING JAYA: Recently-appointed doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky will have his work cut out for him in turning his mixed doubles charges into medal contenders in the upcoming multisport Games this year following the rise of Singapore.

Yesterday, world No. 40 Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei had hoped to secure their career breakthrough victory but were denied by Singapore’s Terry Hee-Tan Wei Han in the mixed doubles final of the Indian Open in New Delhi.

The third seeds went down 15-21, 18-21 in just 40 minutes to the world No. 182 pair.

It was Singapore’s first-ever mixed doubles title at a World Tour-level tournament, just a month after producing their first world champion through Loh Kean Yew in the men’s singles.

And it is worth noting that Terry-Wei Han are currently training under former international and national chief coach Yap Kim Hock.

Now, Rexy will not only have to worry about Indonesia and Thailand at the SEA Games, or India and England at the Commonwealth Games but has to deal with the emerging threat from their southern neighbours.

Tang Jie-Yen Wei, who are one of the two national senior pairs alongside world No. 23 Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, will mostly be the ones carrying the nation’s challenge at both the SEA Games (in Vietnam) and Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham).

Tang Jie-Yen Wei’s failure to take full advantage in the depleted tournament is certainly a wasted opportunity but the 25-year-old Yen Wei took the disappointment in her stride.

“We’re quite satisfied with our performance. After all, this was our first time making it to the World Tour final but unfortunately, we couldn’t convert it into a victory,” said Yen Wei.

“But for sure, we did learn a lot from this tournament and all these invaluable experiences will only make us stronger in the future.”

Yen Wei said they were ready to put the setback behind them and focus on their next tournament, the Syed Modi International which starts tomorrow in Lucknow.

“We want to keep producing consistent results in order to achieve our target of breaking into the top 20,” she said.

“There are a lot of major tournaments this year, but we want to take it one at a time and our immediate focus is the next Indian meet.”

Singapore, however, were denied of a double joy after Kean Yew fell 22-24, 17-21 to India’s Lakhsya Sen.

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