KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Soon Huat has finally given up playing in men’s singles event.
After six years of limited success, he has decided to try his luck in mixed doubles with Shevon Lai Jemie.
Shevon has been without a partner since Wong Fai Xin quit in July.
Soon Huat is the third shuttler to quit playing in men’s singles with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) this year. Two others – Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren – quit the national team earlier this year to become independent shuttlers.
The 26-year-old Soon Huat admitted that “this is one of the hardest decisions I have made”.
“I have to be honest. I train very hard, but it is just so tough to make any headway in the singles. I do not see a future in it,” said world No. 43 Soon Huat.
“It is my best ever ranking, yet I know I have to give it (men’s singles) up ... I have no choice ... let’s see how it goes in the mixed doubles.”
Soon Huat’s best result in men’s singles since joining the national team in 2009 was reaching the final of the 2013 Malaysian Open Grand Prix. Last year, he also reached the semi-finals of the Macau Open and Dutch Open.
He appeared in two major tournaments – the Thomas Cup Finals and Asian Games – but did not play a prominent role.
Soon Huat, who has given himself two years to chart a career in mixed doubles, said that he was inspired by the change of fortune in the career of Tan Kian Meng.
Kian Meng gave up singles last year and is doing well in mixed doubles with Lai Pei Jing.
“Playing in the mixed doubles is totally different. I have to completely change my game. The key is to complement my partner well,” said Soon Huat.
“Kian Meng has shown that it can be done, so I want to give it a shot too. I want to see how it goes in the next two years.”
Soon Huat-Shevon will make their international at the Malaysian International Challenge in Sabah next month.