KUALA LUMPUR: A decision to switch from singles to doubles is bearing fruit for youngster Vivian Hoo.
She is now in national doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky’s big plan for future and may even get an early break to feature in the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championships, which will be held in Guangzhou from May 10-17.
The 19-year-old Vivian underwent her first session of training under Rexy at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday together with the others preparing for the Sudirman Cup.
Among those she sparred with was seasoned campaigner Wong Pei Tty. Pei Tty’s partner Chin Eei Hui is now undergoing rehabilitation programme to recover from a back injury.
Back-up shuttler Vivian is soaking up the opportunity to boost her career in the doubles.
“I was surprised when I got the call-up to join training under Rexy. I trained with the elite men and women and it was a good experience,” said the lanky shuttler.
“Training with the elite squad players is part of the selection process for the Sudirman Cup. I now know that I made the right choice at the start of the year to focus only on the doubles.”
In the women’s back-up squad, Vivian comes under the charge of Pang Cheh Chang and she is hoping that she would be given a regular partner soon in either the women’s doubles or mixed doubles.
“Currently, I am a floater. I do not have any partner. I may have played doubles before but I consider myself as beginner at this level,” said the Under-14 and Under-16 singles and doubles champion in the national junior circuit.
“I have the speed but I need to learn the tactical approach to complement my partner better.”
In the Malaysian Open in January, Vivian played in the mixed doubles partnering Tan Wee Kiong and they were beaten in the first round by Olympic champions Lee Yong-dae-Lee Hyo-jung of South Korea.
Rexy said that he saw good potential in Vivian, who stands at 1.65m.
“She has the physique for doubles and also has the potential. I am considering her for the Sudirman Cup. This is just a plan and let’s see how she fares over the next few days,” he said.
“She will be a good asset for the women’s doubles even if she does not get selected for the Sudirman Cup.”