In the history of Malaysia’s participation at the Olympics, only two women’s doubles pairs made it to the grandest stage of all, a feat Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean now look to continue in Tokyo.

Chow-Lee booked their spot at the upcoming Olympic Games by virtue of being the highest ranked national women’s doubles pair, but the world number 11 are not heading to their maiden Olympics just to make up the numbers.

In Chan Chong Ming, they have a formidable coach who has raised not just their game, but also the women’s doubles department as a whole.

Chow explained the work the pair have been putting in with Chan: “At this point, our training is on staying alive in the final lap of matches. We are always reminded to focus on that. Even though we are tired, we are trained to push through.

“Before this, we have fallen in the crucial stages of matches, which is the most important phase.”

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Chow-Lee’s record this year spoke volume of their progress, with three semi-final appearances at the Thailand Open 1, the 2020 World Tour Finals and the Swiss Open.

A 21-10, 14-21, 16-21 loss to compatriots Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah at the Swiss Open semis was a prime example of maintaining a high tempo Chan wants to see in his charges at the Olympics.

Lee is also undergoing a transformation as she gears up for Tokyo.

“Right now, I am in the process of building muscle and reducing weight. Coach places strong emphasis on that to prevent injury. He also tells us to not be afraid of trying new things, and to give it our best shot in every match,” she said.

Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty were the first national women’s doubles pair to compete at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and reached the last-16 on both occasions.

Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei bettered that feat by making it to the last eight at the Rio Olympics, before losing in three sets to eventual champions Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi.