No time to mope for Man-Tee who seek to end inconsistent form

Never surrender: Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun are hungry to prove themselves worthy of a call-up.

PETALING JAYA: Time is of the essence and men’s doubles shuttlers Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun can’t afford to mope as they seek to earn a call-up for the Thomas Cup Finals from April 27-May 5 in Chengdu.

The pair were overlooked for the Asia Team Championships recently with world No. 19 teammates Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and world No. 39 Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri selected instead.

Although ranked higher than the other two pairs at No. 18, Wei Chong-Kai Wun have been going through a dip in form since finishing runners-up in the Arctic Open in Vantaa, Finland last October. The duo have not managed to reach the quarter-final in any of their outings since.

Men’s doubles coach Tan Bin Shen though has kept the door open for his charges to gain a berth in the squad for the Thomas Cup along with national No. 1 pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

“We need a strong second pair for the Thomas Cup behind Aaron-Wooi Yik and Wei Chong-Kai Wun are hungry to prove themselves worthy of a call-up,” said Bin Shen.

“They have shown some improvement in training but they need to translate this into strong performances in tournaments.

“If they don’t get a breakthrough, they will remain stagnant and they understand this.”

Inconsistency has been a recurring issue for Wei Chong-Kai Wun, who defended the Taiwan Open title last year and finished runners-up in the Malaysian Masters but could not get past the early rounds in all their other tourneys.

They are set to compete in the back-to-back French Open (March 5-10), All-England (March 12-17) and Swiss Open (March 19-24).

In the French tourney, the pair should have no problems getting past unheralded Canadians Kevin Lee-Ty Alexander in the first round.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun though face a tough hurdle in the second round against either fellow Malaysians Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi or India’s world No. 1 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty.

In the All-England, Wei Chong-Kai Wun have a tricky opener against Japan’s world No. 15 Akira Koga-Taichi Saito.

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