Rexy: Hon Jian could be best fit for Sze Fei

Tried and tested: Choong Hon Jian had briefly played in the men’s doubles with Chen Tang Jie and Man Wei Chong in 2019, before he was switched to mixed doubles in 2021.

PETALING JAYA: Choong Hon Jian could be the best man to partner national men’s doubles shuttler Goh Sze Fei.

Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani are currently without partners after the duo decided to go their separate ways after playing together as a pair for around eight years.

Doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky has now identified mixed doubles shuttler Hon Jian as a possible partner for Sze Fei.

“We have tried out Sze Fei and Hon Jian together in training and they did well,” said Rexy.

“Hon Jian’s age (22) is right for him to play in two events and Sze Fei, who is more experienced, can guide him.

“Sze Fei is a playmaker and needs someone with power to complement him and Hon Jian has this.

“This partnership is almost 80% confirmed.

“I will hold discussions with mixed doubles coach Nova Widianto to get his feedback on this too.’’

Hon Jian had briefly played in the men’s doubles with Chen Tang Jie and Man Wei Chong in 2019, before he was switched to mixed doubles in 2021 after struggling to establish himself.

The move seemed to pay dividends as the Penangite had enjoyed some success with Toh Ee Wei, with the duo capturing the 2021 Polish Open, Slovenian International Series and Austrian Open.

Their partnership ended, though, when Ee Wei was combined with veteran Chan Peng Soon.

Since then, Hon Jian has been tried out with different partners with little success.

“For now, Nova is trying him out with Go Pei Kee and Yap Ling.

“He has yet to decide on a permanent partnership for him,” added Rexy.

Meanwhile, Rexy is still searching for a new partner for Izzuddin.

“It’s more difficult to come up with a partner for Izzuddin as this could involve splitting an existing pair,’’ he said.

“For example, if I were to combine Izzuddin with Mohd Haikal Nazri, then I will need to think of what to do with the latter’s current partner (Wan Arif Wan Junaidi).

“So, this is not a straightforward decision.”

Despite the difficulties involved, the Indonesian is determined to confirm the new partnerships as soon as possible.

“I will confirm the identities of both Sze Fei and Izzuddin’s new partners on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I can’t satisfy everyone as my main priority is for the new pairs to work well together.

“Sze Fei and Izzuddin also need to be prepared to compete in lower-level tournaments with their new partners as their new rankings might not be good enough for them to enter top-tier events.”

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