Pang Ron-Ee Wei won’t go Down Under as home tourney’s higher priority

PETALING JAYA: National mixed doubles pair Hoo Pang Ron-Toh Ee Wei have withdrawn from the Australian Open which starts on Tuesday in Sydney to give more focus to the Malaysian Open from Jan 10-15 at the Axiata Arena.

“Pang Ron-Ee Wei will not be playing in the Australian Open. We want to prepare them for the Malaysian Open next year,” confirmed national doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky.

Pang Ron-Ee Wei, who were only paired together in June, had suffered a dip in form in their last two tournaments after a promising start to their partnership.

They had suffered back-to-back opening round exits in the French and Hylo Opens.

Before the two tournaments, they were forced to miss the Denmark Open after Pang Ron had an eye infection.

In the French Open, they disappointingly went down 18-21, 17-21 to South Korea’s world No. 184 Yong Jin-Shin Seung-chan.

Pang Ron-Ee Wei put up a much better fight in the Hylo Open against independent pair and world No. 11 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie but it was not enough as they narrowly lost 11-21, 21-12, 17-21.

The former had beaten the latter in the second round of the Indonesian Open in June.

Despite the losses, Pang Ron-Ee Wei have gone up three rungs from No. 37 to 34 in the latest world rankings.

The Malaysian Open does offer more ranking points as it’s a higher-tier tournament than the Australian Open.

The home tourney has been upgraded from Super 750 to 1000 by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

In Sydney, Malaysia will be banking on the new combination of Chen Tang Jie-Yap Ling and independent pairs Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Soon Huat-Shevon and Wong Tien Ci-Lim Chiew Sien in the absence of Pang Ron-Ee Wei.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing are set to play Indonesia’s Dejan Ferdinansyah-Gloria Widjaja in the first round while Soon Huat-Shevon will meet Japan’s Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya.

Tien Ci-Chiew Sien will play a qualifier in the opening round.

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