Duo head to Covid-19 danger zone to realise Tokyo dream


All prepared: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying’s best achievement at the Indian Open was reaching the semi-finals twice in 2011 and 2017.

PETALING JAYA: World No. 7 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to qualify for a second successive Olympics appearance.

Despite the worsening Covid-19 situation in India, the Rio Olympics mixed doubles silver medallists have no qualms signing up for the Indian Open from May 11-16.

As of Saturday, India is one of the worst-hit in the world by the pandemic, reporting nearly 153,000 new cases to take its tally to 13.4 million.

Although there are only three Olympics qualifiers remaining including the Malaysian Open (May 25-30) and Singapore Open (June 1-6), Peng Soon believes they can’t take things for granted until they have secured their place in the top eight of the Race to Tokyo standings.

Currently seventh, Peng Soon-Liu Ying can still be mathematically pipped by 11th-placed compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.

In doubles competitions, only one pair is eligible for the Games unless both are ranked in the top eight.

“We have submitted our entry and we will most likely compete if the tournament is held, ” said Peng Soon.

“If given a choice, of course we wouldn’t want to take the risk but we just have to this time.

“We can’t just skip a tournament and then pray that the pairs ranked below us fare badly. We should instead be prepared for the worst-case scenario... and that’s by going out to compete and get good results to decide our own destiny.

“At the end of the day, we’re not only pursuing the Olympic dreams for ourselves. We need to repay the sponsors’ faith in us, so we can’t afford to fail.

“Our aim is to keep ourselves in the top eight, whatever it takes. If Soon Huat-Shevon are also in the bracket, it’s even better as Malaysia will have two pairs.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying’s best achievement at the Indian Open was reaching the semi-finals twice in 2011 and 2017.

A total of 26 Malaysian players – including 11 independents – have been entered for the third-tier World Tour event.

As revealed by BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann earlier, All-England champion Lee Zii Jia will also be on the plane to India.

Zii Jia can look forward to another clash with Japan’s world No. 1 Kento Momota and Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen (No. 2) whom he both defeated in Birmingham last month.



THE SQUAD

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia

Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong

Women’s singles: Soniia Cheah

Women’s doubles: Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean and Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah

Mixed doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See and Cheng Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei

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