KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 men’s singles player Lee Chong Wei is not Malaysia’s only medal hope in badminton.
Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying think that they have a chance too, as they hope to make a breakthrough in their second Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro next month.
The pair are now ranked No. 10 in the world.
Peng Soon believes that the experience they gained from their maiden Olympic outing in London four years ago will prove valuable in Rio.
In London, Peng Soon-Liu Ying lost all three matches in the group stage and failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.
“It was our first Olympics and the expectations got to us. We did not play our best. This time, we will be better prepared.
“Compared to four years ago, we understand each other better now and we’ve beaten some top players along the way. So, I believe we will have a good outing if we can settle down quickly.
“It could be our best chance to win an Olympic medal, but it’s not easy as the other pairs are also eyeing it, so the preparation is important.
“If we prepare well, we can achieve the target,” said Peng Soon at an event to announce him and the others – Liu Ying, world junior girls’ singles champion Goh Jin Wei and Rio-bound men’s doubles pair Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem – as 100 PLUS brand ambassadors.
The five will join Chong Wei as the brand ambassadors in the country.
The Rio-bound shuttlers are in the final phase of their preparation and it’s not all about physical strength for Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who reached three Open finals this year and won one – the New Zealand Open in March.
Along the way, they also beat world No. 1 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei at the Malaysian Open in April.
“For now, we are working more on communication, not just between us, but also with our coach (Chin Ee Hui).
“She has played in the Olympics before and her input will benefit us,” said Peng Soon.
There will be no special camp for the shuttlers, who will fly straight to Rio on July 29.
Malaysia will be represented in all five events, with Tee Jing Yi flying the flag for women’s singles.