Mixed pair win Olympic place but may lose sponsors

  • Badminton
  • Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian mixed doubles ace Goh Liu Ying and partner Chan Peng Soon will have to reorganise their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics if the Games are pushed back to next year.

While the world No. 7 will be relieved that they have time to beef up their game, the postponement of the Olympics would also leave the independent pair with plenty to do.

Liu Ying said one of the most crucial matters for them to solve would be the sponsorships.

“If the Olympics are indeed delayed, then Peng Soon and I will have to relook many things,” said Liu Ying, who won silver with Peng Soon in their Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

“Sponsorships will be one of them because our contracts are only until 2020. We will try to negotiate for an extension but it won’t be easy to because times are bad for most businesses, too.

“If we can’t secure enough financial backing, it will certainly affect our preparations. There’s no point in qualifying but heading to Tokyo without being in the conditions to fight for a medal.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying appeared to have won the three-way battle against compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing for the right to represent the country.

They are ranked seventh ahead of Soon Huat-Shevon (11th) and Kian Meng-Pei Jing (13th) after the completion of the All-England two weeks ago, just before the World Tour came to a halt because of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

The standings are expected to remain unchanged as Badminton World Federation (BWF) said they would not extend the 52-week qualifying period that will end on April 30.

By securing their berth on merit, Peng Soon-Liu Ying will find their financial burden eased a little as they will be entitled to full support services from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

But it is not known if the support would cover the pair’s future tournament expenses, especially if the Olympics in July is postponed to next year.

Meanwhile, Liu Ying said it was hard to stay motivated in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak that has sent most countries around the globe into a lockdown.

“This is certainly a time where sports have to take a back seat. Everyone is going through a challenging time. Let’s pray things will get better soon,” said Liu Ying.

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