PETALING JAYA: National mixed doubles shuttler Goh Liu Ying is relieved to have rediscovered her best form ahead of the World Championships in Nanjing (July 30-Aug 5) and Asian Games in Jakarta (Aug 18-Sept 2).
The 29-year-old felt that she and her partner Chan Peng Soon can only get better after finishing second to Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir at the Indonesian Open to cap their best outing since their reunion earlier this year.
Liu Ying made her comeback last October after being out for six months due to a shoulder injury but it wasn’t until January that she resumed her partnership with Peng Soon.
The former world No. 3 pair and Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medallists have made a fine progress since by reaching three finals and winning two of them.
They won the Malaysian Masters in January and last month’s US Open, and were the runners-up at the Australian Open.
Even then, Liu Ying wasn’t exactly convinced that she was getting anywhere near to her best. But all those remaining doubts were cleared in Jakarta last week.
“I was really nervous during the first round (against compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie). Failing to clear the Malaysian Open first round (the week before) piled the pressure on us to deliver,” said Liu Ying.
“I was in doubt as to whether I could perform well. Thankfully, we managed to overcome the opening hurdle and as the tournament progressed, our combination kept getting better.
“Although we didn’t to win the tournament, I’m still very pleased we made it until the final as it’s a (World Tour) Super 1000-rated event. Like the Malaysian Open (Super 750), these are massive tournaments where any pair you face in the first round itself could potentially become champions.
“So, beating some of the world best players did boost our confidence greatly. Gaining confidence is more important than anything else. It makes you believe in yourself again.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will skip the Thailand Open this week to concentrate on their preparation for the world meet.
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing are the sole flag bearers in the mixed doubles event in Thailand.
In the men’s singles, Malaysia will be represented by Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao and former internationals Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.
Women’s singles quartet Soniia Cheah, Goh Jin Wei, Lee Ying Ying and S. Kisona, together with Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) and Lim Chiew Sien-Tan Sueh Jeou (women’s doubles) will also be in action.