Ee Wei hopes to return refreshed in Year of the Rabbit

Precious moments: Toh Ee Wei (second from right) ushering in the Year of the Rabbit with her father Toh Kok Leong, mother Jane Yeo and sister Toh Ee Ching.

PETALING JAYA: Toh Ee Wei is a happy bunny.

The mixed doubles shuttler not only got to celebrate Chinese New Year with her family but she has also been selected to play with Chen Tang Jie for the first time in the Asian Mixed Team Championships from Feb 14-19 in Dubai.

And the 22-year-old Ee Wei is jumping for joy.

She has made her way back to her hometown in Melaka and enjoyed the reunion dinner yesterday but has to be back in training on the second day of Chinese New Year tomorrow.

Despite only given a short time, a tired Ee Wei is still happy and hope to return recharged.

“I arrived in Melaka yesterday morning (Saturday) at around seven from India,” said Ee Wei.

Ee Wei and Tang Jie gave a good account of themselves against China’s reigning Olympic champions Huang Dongping-Wang Yilyu before losing 21-23, 12-21 in the second round of the ongoing Indian Open in New Delhi.

“Honestly, I’m quite tired as it was a long journey back home but my family and I are still happy to get to spend Chinese New Year together,” said Ee Wei.

“I did not even have time to change my hair colour ... it’s still orange!

“My favourite food during this festive season is steamboat as we can eat together and chit chat for hours.

“I will rest and focus on my recovery during this two days before making a return to prepare for the mixed team competition,” added Ee Wei.

The mixed team competition will serve as the qualifier for the Sudirman Cup from May 14-21.

“I’m really excited as this is a big mixed team event and I’ve been selected for the first time,” said Ee Wei, who was only paired with Tang Jie in November.

In their short time together, the pair have showed real promise.

“We are getting stronger physically and are improving in every tournament ... the goal is to do well in tournaments during the Olympic qualifying period, which will start in May.”

Tang Jie-Ee Wei captured the Bangladesh International Challenge last month and reached the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open.

Their next assignment is the Iran International Challenge from Jan 31-Feb 5.

Meanwhile, the others selected for the mixed team are independent duo and world No. 6 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles).

Joining them are Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao (men’s singles); Goh Jin Wei, Wong Ling Ching (women’s singles); reigning world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and Teo Mei Xing-Go Pei Kee (women’s doubles).

In the last edition in 2019 in Hong Kong, Malaysia were beaten 0-3 by Japan in the last-eight. The tournament was cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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