TAN Wee Kiong has accepted a challenge from Jeremy Gan to make a comeback in the mixed doubles in order to strike up a formidable partnership with Vivian Hoo. This doesn’t mean that Wee Kiong is neglecting his duties in the men’s doubles where he is ranked World No 13 with Hoon Thien How but Jeremy wants his protege to make it big in both events.
World No 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying have been the only established Malaysian pair on the international stage but their performances have deteriorated of late due to pressure.
Wee Kiong is not a newcomer to the mixed doubles as he was an Asian junior champion with Woon Khe Wei in 2007 and both had also tried out full-time for two years in 2008.
Lack of results forced them to focus on the men’s and women’s doubles respectively and Jeremy has made it clear he only wants senior players who are capable of maintaining their performance in both events.
"We are looking for another top class pair and Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo have agreed to play in the mixed doubles. Both have the physical attributes to cope with two events and have pledge their commitment," said Jeremy.
"I have also spoken to Thien How and Khe Wei as they must be comfortable with their respective partners playing the mixed doubles.
"I don’t want a situation when they don’t give their full commitment during tournaments. Players used have a tendency of throwing away one event to focus on another when they feel they have a better chance in the other event.
"Besides Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah is also another good mixed doubles player but it is up to him and his coaches to decide whether he should get involved in two events."
Khim Wah won the 2007 world junior title with Ng Hui Lin and they are only the second pair to do so after Chan Chong Ming-Joanne Quay in 1988.
Khim Wah, who partners Goh V Shem in the men’s doubles, is also likely to get a new partner in Ow Yao Han tomorrow but is still undecided on the mixed doubles. He is believed to be the fittest player in the men’s doubles squad but with his fortunes sinking in his pet event, Khim Wah may find a new life if he tries out the mixed doubles.
However, this will be decided by men’s doubles coaches Paulus Firman and Pang Cheh Chang who are currently not convinced Khim Wah is cut out to be a world class mixed doubles player.
Should Jeremy fail to get Khim Wah’s services, he is likely to pursue youngsters Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing, Lutfi Zaim Khlaid-Amelia Anscelly, Tan Chee Tian-Shevon Lai Jemie, Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan and Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo.