PETALING JAYA: Things are definitely looking up for badminton’s mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie ahead of the Philippines SEA Games from Nov 30-Dec 11.
The world No. 8 continued their resurgence by making it to their second successive World Tour semi-finals.
Soon Huat-Shevon came back from a game down to beat world No. 4 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 16-21,23-21,21-12 in yesterday’s Hong Kong Open quarter-finals, proving that their win against the Thais at the same stage last week at the Fuzhou China Open was not a fluke.
The second straight win over them, currently the best pair in South-East Asia, certainly speaks volumes as Soon Huat-Shevon aim to improve on their silver-medal achievement at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games two years ago. Then, the same Thai pair pipped them to the gold medal.
However, Dechapol-Sapsiree will not be defending their title as their focus is on the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou from Dec 11-15.
With the latest achievements, the Malaysians feel that they are confident of mounting a strong challenge at the Games.
“I can say that we are ready. It’s great to be back in form, winning matches and more importantly beating higher-ranked opponents, ” said Shevon.
“As there’s not much time left for us to prepare (for the SEA Games), these competitive matches are our training sessions. We’re making the most of it to make our game more solid.
“When you are able to reach a certain level of consistency, that’s when you feel you can take on any top players in the world.”
But before looking ahead to the biennial Games, they will be eyeing to reach their first World Tour final in nearly 16 months.
They have not made it to the title match since capturing the Singapore Open title in July last year.
The duo came close on three occasions by reaching the last four at the German Open and All-England in March and at last week’s Fuzhou China Open.
Soon Huat and Shevon will take on He Jiting-Du Yue of China for a place in the final today.
The have met five times and the Malaysian duo were triumphant in their last two meetings with the latest victory coming in the quarter-finals of the German Open in March.
Meanwhile, it was the end of the road for Malaysia in the men’s doubles with Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi failing to progress.
World No. 12 Aaron-Wooi Yik let slipped a golden opportunity to score their first-ever win over world No. 3 Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China, losing 17-21,21-19,21-23.
Yew Sin-Ee Yi failed to replicate the outstanding performance that saw them ousting world No. 5 Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia on Thursday.
They were handed a reality check when South Korea’s Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae whipped them 21-13,21-19 in 34 minutes.
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