Independent shuttlers Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin are ready, willing and able if their services are needed for the Thomas Cup Finals from Oct 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark. The world No. 15 pair have surprisingly done well after leaving the national set-up in January. They won the Thailand Masters and have remained in the top 15 position for four months.
They are currently the third ranked pair in the country after world No. 8 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (14th). They are ahead of youngsters Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (23rd).
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will name three pairs for the Finals and Ee Yi hoped that if he gets the nod, it would be with Yew Sin.
“I made my Thomas Cup debut in Bangkok two years ago but Yew Sin was not selected. It will be great to go with Yew Sin if the BAM want us this time,” said Ee Yi.
At the last Finals, Ee Yi formed a scratch partnership with Aaron and they gave a gutsy performance as the second doubles.
In the quarter-finals, Malaysia lost 1-3 to Indonesia with Ee Yi-Aaron losing to Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
The 27-year-old Ee Yi said he can’t wait to get back in action.
“All this long wait is driving me crazy. I’ve been hitting the shuttle against the wall the same way I used to do when I was a kid,” he said.
But to keep himself motivated, Ee Yi said he will recall three significant moments in his career – the World Junior Championships in Taiwan (2011), Sudirman Cup in China (2019) and when he decided to leave BAM.
“I remember winning my first world junior title with Nelson Heg. It was the start of my career and I was so excited when I made the national team,” said Ee Yi.
At the Sudirman Cup, Ee Yi was bleeding from his face following a mishap during the match against Japan’s world No. 2 Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura.
Despite the injury, he did not give up and battled with Yew Sin for 95 minutes before going down 21-13, 24-26, 21-23 in a quarter-final tie.
“This match will always remind me why I love this game very much,” he said.
“I’ll also not forget when Yew Sin and I left BAM. We went through tough times as an independent pair and it’s a reminder that nothing comes easy. And we are grateful to all those who supported us.”