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It’s double the workload for Meng Yean

PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Lee Meng Yean’s (pic) longevity in the national team depends on how quick she can strike it right with new partner Yap Cheng Wen.

Meng Yean’s first tournament with Cheng Wen will be at the Denmark Open from Oct 19-24 in Odense.

But first, the 27-year-old Meng Yean, the oldest in the team, will lead the Uber Cup Finals squad as the captain.

In the Finals, also in Denmark from Oct 9-17 in Aarhus, she has been paired up with Go Pei Kee as Cheng Wen is still recovering from a shoulder injury and needs more time to be at her best.

Both also had to skip the Sudirman Cup from Sept 26-Oct 3 in Vantaa, Finland.

National doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming said it was ideal to pair up Meng Yean with Cheng Wen, as both were the most experienced players in a relatively young team he has now.

Meng Yean had formed the world No. 11 partnership with Chow Mei Kuan but the latter resigned from the team after the Tokyo Olympic Games while the 26-year-old Cheng Wen had been without a partner since Vivian Hoo was dropped from the squad in February.

Cheng Wen and Vivian were ranked as high as 17th in the world before their partnership ended.

“The best arrangement is to make Meng Yean and Cheng Wen regular partners. We hope they will get it right from the Denmark Open onwards,” said Chong Ming.

The other pairs under his care are Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Yap Ling-Pei Kee, Teoh Mei Xing-Anna Cheong and Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan. His youngest pair Valeree-Yeen Yuan did well to win the Latvia International title last month while Valeree was also impressive in the mixed doubles with Yap Roy Ying as they won all the three back-to-back stints in Europe – Latvia, Greece and Ukraine.

“Except for Meng Yean and Cheng Wen, the others are playing in their first major tournaments in the Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup Finals,” said Chong Ming.

“I want Meng Yean to show leadership and encourage the other youngsters to step up.

“All the first-timers may be inexperienced but I don’t want them to be mere passengers in the team. I expect all of them to give their opponents a good fight.

“They’ve trained hard as the others and it’s time to translate the hard work into a good showing,” he added.

Malaysia will be banking on Swiss Open champions Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah to deliver the goods, now that they are the country’s top pair and have shown they have the skills and determination to challenge the best pairs.

THE SQUADS

SUDIRMAN CUP

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia, Ng Tze Yong.

Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun.

Women’s singles: S. Kisona, Eoon Qi Xuan.

Women’s doubles: Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing.Mixed doubles: Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.

THOMAS CUP FINALS

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin.

Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, Low Hang Yee

UBER CUP FINALS

Women’s singles: S. Kisona, Goh Jin Wei, Eoon Qi Xuan, K. Letshanaa, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman.

Women’s doubles: Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing, Lee Meng Yean-Go Pei Kee.

Reference