PETALING JAYA: Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See could not have asked for a more memorable debut at the World Championships.
On Monday, the mixed doubles pair needed just one win to become the first Malaysian representatives to book their place in the last 16 and are now just two wins away from a podium finish.
The world No. 23 shrugged off a slow start to beat Dutch opponents Ties Vander Lecq-Debora Jille 26-24, 21-12.
Pang Ron-Yee See fought back into the game from 16-19 down and saved three game points en route to sealing the opening game.
The win sent them straight into the last 16 after a walkover by fourth seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Oktavianti following Indone-sia’s decision to withdraw from the meet.
The luck of the draw has spurred Pang Ron-Yee See to land a medal at the first time of asking.
“I believe it’s every player’s goal to win a medal at the World Championships, regardless of how many times you have participated,” said Yee See.
“Of course, it would be great to win (a medal on our debut), but we will not get carried away.
“We have tough hurdles ahead with stronger opponents awaiting us. So, it’s important to take one round at a time.
“We have to play to our true capability and if it’s good enough, then the result will come.”
They will now face either Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Lohau or Indonesian independent pair Dejan Ferdinansyah-Serena Kani.
If they overcome the hurdle, they will most likely cross path with Nanjing 2018 world meet bronze medallists Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong for a place in the semi-finals thus assuring themselves a bronze medal.
Malaysia have yet to win a medal in the mixed doubles event since Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty clinched a bronze in Madrid 2006.
Independent pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing will be aiming to accomplish the feat too after failing to do so in three attempts, with last 16 being the furthest they have reached in Glasgow 2017 and Basel 2019.
The world No. 12 are hoping to be third time lucky in their bid to reach the quarter-finals after they got past the second round by beating India’s Saurabh Sharma-Anoushka Parikh 21-8, 21-18 yesterday.