Nova: Chen-Toh must play with confidence against elite pairs

PETALING JAYA: National mixed doubles coach Nova Widianto has hailed young pair Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei for qualifying for the World Tour Finals in Hangzhou from Dec 13-17 in their very first season on the Badminton World Federation circuit.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei are currently ranked eighth in the World Tour rankings and have confirmed their spot for the season-ending tournament In Hangzhou where the top eight pairs will compete for honours.

Paired in December last year, Tang Jie-Ee Wei made a brisk rise under the guidance of Nova and exceeded the targets set by the Indonesia for them this year.

Nova, who started as the national mixed doubles coach in January this year, had given Tang Jie-Ee Wei eight months to make it to the top 50 but they have surpassed seniors Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing to become the highest ranked Malaysian pair as the world No. 9.

Tang Jie, 25, and Ee Wei, 23, have also won the Orleans Masters and Taiwan Open this year and playing in the World Tour Finals will be the icing on the cake for them after a splendid run this year.

Nova said that there is no pressure them at the World Tour Finals and wants them to play with confidence against the elite combinations.

“We did not set any target for them as they have already done very well by qualifying for the World Tour Finals in their first year on the circuit,” said Nova.

“I believe they have the chance to beat a top five pair as they have done it before. They must have the confidence to get more wins over the big names.”

Among the top five pairs Tang Jie-Ee Wei have beaten are world No. 3 Feng Yan Zhe-Huang Dongping of China, world No. 4 Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung of South Korea Thailand’s world No. 5 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

The names missing in Tang Jie-Ee Wei’s list are world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong of China and second-ranked Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan. The Malaysian pair should get another shot at either of the pair in Hangzhou.

Men’s doubles world No. 2 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are the other Malaysian pair to clinch a spot in the World Tour Finals.

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