KUALA LUMPUR: Mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie are determined to go one step better at the SEA Games in the Philippines from Nov 30-Dec 11.
And they showed their intent by defeating their possible SEA Games opponents Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Savitree Amitrapai of Thailand 21-16,19-21,21-18 in the first round of the China Open at the Olympic Sports Centre in Xincheng yesterday.
Soon Huat-Jemie made it to the final in their SEA Games debut in Kuala Lumpur two years ago but lost to Thai No. 1 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the gold-medal match.
World No. 11 Soon Huat-Shevon take on Gold Coast Commonwealth Games runners-up Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith of England for a place in the quarter-finals. If they make it to the last eight, they may get a chance to play Dechapol-Sapsiree.
“We want it badly... to become the SEA Games champions this year. The Thais are one of our strong opponents, so to beat one of them here is great. We’ll have to be wary of the Indonesians in the Games too, ” said Shevon.
“We also want to do well here in China to get back into the world’s top 10.”
It has been almost two months since they last featured in the quarter-finals of an Open tournament in Indonesia in July and Soon Huat wants to clear the hurdle this time.
“I’ve just come back from an injury (hamstring), so I’m starting all over again. The main goal is to make my combination with Shevon good again and play with more confidence, ” said Soon Huat.
“There are different pressures playing during the Olympic qualifying period but if we manage it well, there is a chance to reach the quarter-finals.”
They will also be joined by world No. 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the second round.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying blasted past South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won 21-16,21-10 in just 35 minutes yesterday to set up a meeting against Indonesians Ahmad Tontowi-Winny Oktavina Kandow next.
Meanwhile, it was a day of mixed fortunes for Malaysia in the men’s doubles when Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin made it to the second round but All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik failed to follow suit.
World No. 23 Ee Yi-Yew Sin played one of their best matches in recent times to upstage the more experienced world No. 24 Kim Gi-jung-Lee Yong-dae of South Korea 20-22,21-13,21-13.
They take on Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen for a place in the quarter-finals.
A day earlier, independent shuttlers Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong also made it to the second round after a superb 21-6,21-9 win over Holland’s Jelle Mas-Robin Tabeling to set up a match against another experienced pair in Danes Mathias Boe-Mads-Conrad Petersen.
Aaron-Wooi Yik failed to make it three Malaysians in the second round when they went down 14-21,17-21 to Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe of Japan.
It was all over for Soniia Cheah when she slumped 9-21,16-21 to second seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan in the opener yesterday.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Men’s singles: Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Khosit Phetpradap (Tha) 21-12,21-10; B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) bt Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Tha) 21-19,21-23,21-14; Huang Yuxiang (Chn) bt Kanthaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-15,16-21,21-17; Lu Guangzu (Chn) bt Shi Yuqi (Chn) 21-5,21-9; Anders Antonsen (Den) bt Mark Caljouw (Ned) 2-0, rtd; Rasmus Gemke (Den) bt Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hkg) 21-13,14-21,21-14.
Men’s doubles: Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn) bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-14,21-17; Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi bt Kim Gi-jung-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) 20-22,21-13,21-13; Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) bt Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan (Tpe) 21-14,21-11; Choi Solgyu-Seo Seung-jae (Kor) bt Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) 21-17,21-14; Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) bt Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) 21-17,21-16; Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko (Jpn) bt Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) 21-17,21-19.
Matches involving Malaysians only
Women’s singles: Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) bt Soniia Cheah 21-9,21-16.
Mixed doubles: Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie bt Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Savitree Amitrapai (Tha) 21-16,19-21,21-18; Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won (Kor) 21-16,21-10.