Veteran pair Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui are out to relish every moment of what could be their last outing in an international event at home in the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold starting at the Bandaraya Stadium here today.
Pei Tty-Eei Hui’s chances of winning an Olympic ticket to London are as good as over after their poor showing at the India Open in New Delhi on Sunday.
Their names will not be on the qualifiers’ list to be released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) tomorrow — no thanks to a string of early defeats in the Australian Open, Asian Badminton Championships and the India Open Super Series.
With nothing much to look forward to, Pei Tty and Eei Hui are expected to announce their retirement in the weeks after the GP Gold.
The 30-year-old Pei Tty was disappointed that all her efforts with Eei Hui to make their third and final Olympic appearance had ended in vain.
“This is really frustrating. Eei Hui and I endured so much pain and hard work over the past one year and came so close to making it,” lamented Pei Tty whose career almost ended after she underwent surgery in 2010 for a knee injury.
But despite an eight-month layoff, she resumed her partnership with Eei Hui and they managed to make steady progress to break into the world’s top 20 again.
The duo, who are currently ranked world No. 16, are likely to drop to No. 21 after the India Open failure, which will render them ineligible for the London Games. Only the top 16 qualify.
“I feel like giving up right now as I have nothing more to look forward to. All the sacrifices would have been worth it if we had made it to the Olympics,” she said,
“I will quit soon and this Malaysian Open GP Gold may be our last. Or, there could be one or two more after this... but we will definitely stop after that.”
“Eei Hui and I will have a word with the national body (Badminton Association of Malaysia). For now, coaching is an option for us.”
If the Malaysian Open GP Gold is their last outing, it will mark the end of a wonderful 10-year partnership for the duo.
“This could be our last tournament in front of the Malaysian fans. We want to enjoy our game and give the fans a treat for the support they’ve given us all these years,” added Pei Tty.
The duo have certainly done their part to raise the standard of the Malaysian women’s doubles. Some of their great efforts include winning gold at the SEA Games, Commonwealth Games and Super Series Masters Finals.
They were the first women’s pair to beat a Chinese combination and also won two Super Series titles at the Indonesia and Denmark Opens.
“It has been a good 10 years but there have been some agonising misses.
“We should have won the French Super Series but lost narrowly to Du Jing-Yu Yang of China,” recalled Pei Tty.
In the GP Gold, second seeds Pei Tty-Eei Hui have a first round bye and take on Busanan Ongbumrungpan-Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand in the second round.
It would indeed be a perfect ending if they go all the way to win the title.