PETALING JAYA: National mixed doubles shuttler Chen Tang Jie’s (pic) wait for a competitive match in 2020 is set to continue as the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up.

While the entire sporting world has been affected, Tang Jie has been especially hit hard.

He was about to begin a new partnership with Pearly Tan Koong Le in the Swiss Open (March 17-22) but their participation was curtailed by the fast-spreading disease that has wreaked havoc on the global sporting calendar.

Before that, he had been unable to take part in tournaments as his then partner, Peck Yen Wei, was out with a knee injury sustained in training last October.

Tang Jie-Yen Wei were ranked 39th in the world in 2019 and their last tournament together was the Indonesia Masters (Oct 1-6) before Yen Wei’s injury sent them spiralling down to 57th spot in the latest rankings.

From then on, Tang Jie played in the men’s doubles event in a few tournaments at the tail end of last year but this year, he has had no chance.

While other players are setting targets of winning tournaments or at least reaching the later rounds once they are given the greenlight to compete, Tang Jie only has one goal – to get the feel of competitions again.

“My one big hope is to take part in a tournament as soon as possible, ” he said.

Tang Jie is now working hard on his fitness at home.

All Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players have been given individual training programmes to complete at home during the movement control order imposed by the Government.

“Besides the physical programme given to us, we are also told to stay hydrated, sleep well and spend some time analysing our own as well as our rivals’ games to keep ourselves ready to return, ” explained Tang Jie.

The coaching team have clearly left no stone unturned as they look to keep the players in prime physical and mental condition.

Tang Jie said the coaches were keeping tabs on everyone to make sure they were following instructions.

Meanwhile, the unexpected break has come as a blessing in disguise to those recovering from injury. They now have more time to rest and recuperate. Besides Yen Wei, another mixed doubles shuttler, Hoo Pang Ron is also on the crocked list.

He suffered a spinal fracture in the first week of February and will hope to be back in shape when the extended period of inaction comes to an end.

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