GEORGE TOWN: Lai Pei Jing has decided to stick with new mixed doubles partner Tan Kian Meng through thick or thin.
And if their partnership doesn’t work, the 24-year-old Pei Jing may just give up playing badminton.
“I have played with different partners over the last five years but this time I think it is working with Kian Meng. I hope there will be no more changes otherwise I will give up on the sport,” said Pei Jing.
In their two months together, Pei Jing and the 21-year-old Kian Meng are hitting the right chords.
The qualifiers continued their fairytale run when they dumped world No. 28 Keigo Sonoda-Naoko Fukuman of Japan 21-10, 21-15 in just 36 minutes to reach the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters.
They will take on their seniors Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who came through to the semi-finals after fending off a late charge from Hafiz Faisal-Shella Devi Aulia of Indonesia. The duo prevailed 21-13, 21-18.
Pei Jing, who had played with Tan Aik Quan and Peng Soon before, said she admired Kian Meng’s attitude.
“My partnership with Kian Meng is growing in strength. He always asks questions and works hard. He puts in so much effort. I like his attitude.
“My former partners Peng Soon is full of experience and Aik Quan is good in attacking. Kian Meng is also an aggressive player. He has so much energy and is able to cover for me.
“He is still immature in some ways but I can deal with that,” said Pei Jing.
On the match with their compatriots Kian Meng said: “We will face our seniors next and we will give them a good fight.”
Peng Soon, on the other hand, praised their younger opponents for their breakthrough performances and even hailed them as their successors in future.
“They have the right chemistry going on for them is such a short time,” said Peng Soon.
“It is good to see another mixed doubles pair coming up quite fast. If they continue to keep the momentum going, I see them taking over from us soon,” said Peng Soon.