Peng Soon still dreams big for Paris Olympics

PETALING JAYA: Veteran shuttler Chan Peng Soon (pic) has expressed his desire to continue his relentless pursuit for a second Olympics medal in Paris 2024 despite having to start from scratch.

And this explains the 33-year-old’s decision to return to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) after going separate ways with Goh Liu Ying. The pair, who won a silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, ended their 13-year partnership on Monday.

Peng Soon admitted that rejoining BAM was his only option to prolong his career and perform at the highest level.

He also revealed that he made up his mind after their underwhelming Tokyo Olympics campaign where they crashed out without a single win in the group stage.

“I would like to thank BAM and their president Tan Sri Norza (Zakaria) for giving me the opportunity to return,” said Peng Soon in an interview with BAM TV.

“I had the idea of returning after the Tokyo Olympics. I approached BAM and held discussions with the management.

“It was during the last few months that we spent at the ABM (Academy Badminton Malaysia) for the preparations before Tokyo 2020 that made me realised that good facilities and support services are crucial in keeping me in top shape.

“The atmosphere in the national team also made me feel very comfortable. This was one of the main reasons why I chose to return.”

Peng Soon stressed the importance of getting himself the right partner and to gel well as soon as possible when he reports for duty on Jan 1.

If that happens, then he is confident he will be able to lead his new partner to gradually move up the ranks and eventually give themselves a shot at qualifying for Paris 2024.

“Starting from scratch isn’t a concern. So long as the partnership clicks, I think it will not be a problem for us to work our way up the world ranking,” he explained.

“Once we establish ourselves, we’ll take it one year at a time. The ultimate goal is 2024.”

When asked whether his age might hinder him from maintaining his condition in the next three years, Peng Soon said: “I believe I can, now that I’m back with the national team. With the assistance of sports science experts, physiotherapists, masseurs, I can count on them to help me hit the peak of my performance once more on a consistent basis.”

Peng Soon is also keen to repay the BAM’s faith by mentoring the young players.

“As a player with a lot of experience, I hope I can become a role model to them,” he said.

“I hope my presence can help spur them on and not to give up easily no matter how difficult it is.”

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