Shuttler aiming to strike gold

The Chan-Goh partnership in action against Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Wakana Nagahara during the quarter-finals of the Perodua Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil in January 2020.

BADMINTON mixed doubles ace Chan Peng Soon is eyeing a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 33-year-old who plays with Goh Liu Ying is currently seventh in the world in the mixed doubles ranking of the Badminton World Federation.

In London in 2012, Chan and Goh became the first Malaysian mixed pair to compete at the Olympics.

The dynamic duo then clinched a silver medal in Rio in 2016 and the Tokyo Olympics will be their third appearance.

“Our goal is of course to bring home the gold medal.

“I believe all top six mixed doubles players are our strongest competitors.

“Everyone is equally skilled so there is no 100% chance of winning against any team.

“Among them are China players whose absence from international competitions for about 18 months has made it hard for us to evaluate their techniques, ” said Chan during an interaction session organised by Penang State Sports Council (PSSC) via Zoom on Saturday.

Chan shared that during his debut at the 2012 London Olympics, he did not focus too much on winning.

“I focused more on gaining experience.

“However, four years later at the Rio Olympics, Goh and I both believed that it was our prime time and we aimed for the gold medal.

“For the Tokyo Olympics, I believe both of us are the ‘oldest’ players and we are definitely aiming for the gold medal again, ” he said.

Chan has been training under a quarantine bubble system along with the rest of the national shuttlers at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara since the third phase of the movement control order.

Chan (on the left) sharing his experiences during the Zoom interaction session organised by the Penang State Sports Council.Chan (on the left) sharing his experiences during the Zoom interaction session organised by the Penang State Sports Council.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to stay at the ABM and I have not seen my wife and four children for almost six weeks.

“Prior to the pandemic, I had to travel between my home and the training centre every day so it was easier to get distracted.

“However, this time, the situation is different.

“I have to stay at the centre throughout the training period.

“A plus point about this is that I get to concentrate more on training and improve on some specific techniques.”

Chan is thankful to receive full support from his family, especially his wife, for his Olympics dream.

“To maintain the balance of family life, the first thing to do is to make my wife happy so that everything is not a problem, ” he quipped.

He added that his wife would not let him know about the little things at home to prevent him from being distracted.

On the Tokyo Olympics, Chan said it would definitely be a different experience due to the pandemic.

“Although I will be facing the Olympics with a normal mind, there will still be psychological pressure.

“However, everyone will be under pressure in any job position.

“Since I have decided to participate in the Olympics, I must learn to withstand the pressure.

“My primary goal during a game is to concentrate and enjoy every minute of it.

“When there is a deuce during a game, what is on my mind is to always adopt the right strategies and techniques to defeat the opponent.

“Even if the strategies adopted are correct, sometimes all we need is a little extra good luck, ” he shared.

Chan has been fully vaccinated and will be departing for the Tokyo Olympics on July 17.

“Upon arrival in Tokyo, the athletes will have to undergo Covid-19 screening and quarantine for three days to wait for the results.

“Once the results are negative, we can continue our training and prepare for the badminton games, ” he said.

Present at the session were Penang youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, PSSC director Harry Chai Heng Hua, Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong, Ayer Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng and Penang Badminton Association president Datuk Kah Kau Kiak.

Also present were Chan’s first professional coach Ong Ewe Chye.

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