The Star Online > Sports
Monday September 6, 2004
Soon Kit: Eei Hui-Pei Tty should just focus on women’s doubles

BY RAJES PAUL

KUALA LUMPUR: National women's doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit is against the idea of his charges, Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, taking up a dual role by playing the mixed doubles as well.

Soon Kit does not want the top women's pair to end up being a “Jack of all trades but master of none”.

His main aim now is to help them get among the top 10 pairs in the world.

On Friday, national doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock included Eei Hui and Pei Tty in his plans to improve on Malaysia's international standings in the mixed doubles.

Kim Hock's chosen men and women are expected to train three times a week when the programme goes into full swing next year.

“Eei Hui-Pei Tty are back from the Athens Olympic Games and I want them to concentrate only on the women's doubles,” said Soon Kit.

“I do not agree with the idea of having them play in the mixed doubles now. Let them establish themselves as one of the top pairs in the world first. After that, they can start thinking about playing in the mixed doubles.

“If they have to concentrate on the mixed doubles as well, they may end up achieving nothing. It's better to select new players or school leavers for the plan to improve Malaysian mixed doubles.”

In the Athens Olympics, Eei Hui-Pei Tty upset the Japanese Shizuka Yamamoto-Seiko Yamada in the first round and as expected, went down to second seeds Gao Ling-Huang Sui of China in the round of 16.

They are now ranked 16th in the world.

Soon Kit said that he hoped that the matter would be brought up during the coaching and training committee meeting.

The committee, led by the Badminton Association of Malaysia's (BAM) president, Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, will be meeting the players who featured in the Athens Olympics on Friday to discuss their failure to win medals.

Meanwhile, Kim Hock said that his plan to improve the standard of the mixed doubles had not been endorsed by the BAM.

“As the doubles chief coach, I have my plans to improve on the standard of the mixed doubles in the country,” he said.

“The BAM started specialising on this event last year and I wanted to make it better. Eei Hui and Pei Tty were supposed to join the squad last year but we exempted them because they wanted to focus on the Athens Olympics. But all these (his plans) can be discussed.” In the wake of the failure to win a medal in the Olympics for the second consecutive time after Sydney 2000, the BAM are looking at better programmes to strengthen their national team and coaching set-up for a successful showing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.