Filepic shows Lai Pei Jing (left) and Chan Peng Soon in training in Stadium Juara.
PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing came close to a perfect start in their partnership at the Austrian International Challenge in Vienna.
Playing in their first international competition together, Peng Soon-Pei Jing marched all the way to the final on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Malaysians lost 15-21, 21-15, 16-21 to the experienced Polish pair of Robert Mateusiak-Agnieszka Wojtokowska. Earlier in the semi-finals, Peng Soon-Pei Jing defeated Taiwan’s Chen Hung-ling-Wu Ti-jung 21-16, 21-16.
Pei Jing previously partnered Tan Aik Quan and they were ranked as high as No.15 in the world. As for Peng Soon, his regular partner Goh Liu Ying is taking time out due to a knee injury.
Pei Jing was pleased they managed to reach the final in their first outing.
“As it was my first international tournament with Peng Soon, I was initially a little excited and under a bit of pressure,” explained the diminutive 21-year-old.
“But Peng Soon and coach Jeremy (Gan) were very patient and kept encouraging me. I grew calmer and more confident as the tournament progressed. Although this is just a small tournament, I learned a lot playing with Peng Soon.
“I think we have a pretty good understanding on court and we didn’t do too bad in the end. But it’s quite disappointing not to get off to a winning start because I set a target of lifting the title,” added Pei Jing.
Peng Soon-Pei Jing’s next tournament is the German Open which starts in Mulheim on Tuesday.
The pair will have to step up from the first round itself as they have been drawn against third seeds Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na of South Korea.
“I’ll try not to worry too much about the German Open because the opponents there are definitely stronger. What’s more important is that I go in with the attitude to learn and to do my best and take it one match at a time,” said Pei Jing.
Besides Peng Soon-Pei Jing, men’s singles shuttlers Liew Daren, Tan Chun Seang, Misbun Ramdan Misbun and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif will also be in action.
In the men’s doubles, Malaysian Open champions Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong are Malaysia’s representatives.