Malaysian doubles shuttler finds her partner - for life

I do: National women’s doubles shuttler Chow Mei Kuan said yes to her boyfriend Thew Wei Chuan’s marriage proposal during an advanced birthday celebration last Saturday.
PHOTO: Instagram/meikuan94

PETALING JAYA - Doubles shuttler Chow Mei Kuan has ended her year with a double flourish - she got engaged and celebrated her 25th birthday!

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist took to Instagram to announce her engagement to boyfriend Thew Wei Chuan, 26.

Mei Kuan's fiance, a quantity surveyor, popped the big question during an advance birthday celebration at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, and she said "yes" in the presence of her close friends including playing partner Lee Meng Yean.

Mei Kuan, who is with the national team in Ehime, Japan, for a one-week training camp until Sunday, said it hasn't really sunk in yet.

"It was a huge surprise! I didn't see it (the proposal) coming because all I thought was that it was an advance birthday party before I left for Japan," recalled Mei Kuan, who turned 25 yesterday.

"But I have no doubt he's the one, my Mr. Right, and I said yes to him."

Asked how long has she been in a relationship with Wei Chuan, Mei Kuan preferred to keep it a secret but was quick to reveal that she first got to know him through social media.

"We're both caught up in our careers, me as a national athlete and him as a quantity surveyor. As we're always busy, our circle of friends is quite small and we actually met on social media. We started as friends, hanging out and even playing badminton together. The rest is history.

"Between us, I'm surely the busier one as I travel all year long for tournaments but he's always considerate and understanding. I was able to fight through many up and downs in my career."

The wedding date has not been set yet, not least until the third quarter of next year.

For Mei Kuan, and even for her fiancee, the priority is now about securing an Olympic Games debut in Tokyo next August.

Mei Kuan and Meng Yean are in a solid position to qualify as they are currently ranked No. 15 in the world.

All they need to do is to keep themselves in the top 16.

Even if they don't, the chances of them making the cut are still high with the current top 16 including at least three pairs from China, Japan and South Korea.

A nation can only earn a maximum two slots provided both pairs are ranked in the top eight when the one-year qualification ends on April 30.

"We will only plan our wedding after the Olympics. I'm now focused on Tokyo 2020," she said.