Kian Meng-Pei Jing’s Olympics dream in jeopardy after defeat

PETALING JAYA: Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (pic) are making life difficult for themselves in their chase to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The independent mixed doubles pair, who are currently ranked No. 6 in the world, are in good place to qualify but if they don’t arrest their poor form, they can drop out when the one-year qualifying period begins in May.

The duo suffered yet another exit in the early round of individual tournaments when they were stunned 12-21, 21-11, 19-21 by Japan’s world No. 16 Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo in the second round of the All-England in Birmingham on Thursday.

The disappointing defeat meant that Kian Meng-Pei Jing have yet to reach the quarter-finals of any individual competitions this year.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing are in danger of dropping out of the top eight in the rankings if they continue to underperform.

Only two pairs from the same country can make the cut for the Olympics, provided both are ranked in the top eight at the end of the one-year qualification period.

Currently, another independent pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie are occupying the eighth spot in the rankings.

Soon Huat-Shevon are also not in the best of form and crashed out in the opening round in Birmingham after losing 10-21, 14-21 to South Korea’s world No. 9 Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung.

All in all, it was a tournament to forget for the country’s mixed doubles pairs with national duo Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei also tasting defeat (19-21, 24-22, 17-21) in the first round to Kaneko-Matsutomo.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei, though, have shown good progress since being paired up last November and have climbed to No. 36 in the world rankings in the short space of time.

The rising pair are also eyeing a spot in the Olympics and have every chance of making the cut ahead of one of the independent pairs but they have to step up.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing and Soon Huat-Shevon need to buck up or face missing the boat while Tang Jie-Ee Wei need to keep improving to have the opportunity of fulfilling their biggest dreams.

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