Three Commonwealth golds, but Peng Soon far from satisfied


Fight on: Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See celebrate after beating England’s Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith in the semi-finals of the team event.— AP

PETALING JAYA: Veteran shuttler Chan Peng Soon has an impressive collection of three mixed team golds at the Commonwealth Games but he has departed from the recent multi-event extravaganza with a tinge of disappointment.

The fact that mixed doubles specialist Peng Soon failed to win a gold in his pet event will remain a niggle as a bronze with Goh Liu Ying at the 2018 Gold Coast Games was his best effort.

Peng Soon, 34, competed in his last Games in Birmingham recently where he won a third gold in the mixed team but failed in the individual events again.

Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See came up short in the mixed doubles quarter-finals against Scottish pair Adam Hall-Julie MacPherson. Partnering with Tan Kian Meng, Peng Soon lost the men’s doubles bronze medal playoff to compatriots Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

“Winning three is no ordinary achievement but I just couldn’t win in my pet event. I’m not sure if it was pressure but it was just not to be for me,” said Peng Soon.

In 2010, Peng Soon-Liu Ying lost to England’s Nathan Robertson-Jenny Wallwork in the semis and the bronze medal playoff to Singaporeans Chaiyut Triyachart-Yao Lei in New Delhi.

Four years later in Glasgow, another English pair Chris Langridge-Heather Olver knocked out Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing in the last four. And they also lost in the bronze medal playoff against Scotland’s Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier.

England were the stumbling block again at the 2018 Gold Coast Games as two-time champions Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock defeated Peng Soon-Liu Ying, the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallists, in the last four but the Malaysian pair had the consolation of beating Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa for bronze.

“Commonwealth Games always had one or two world class pairs like the Adcocks, Blair-Bankier and Robertson-Wallwork and sometimes, it would be tough to perform compared to other major events,” he said.

“At least I have the bronze with Liu Ying as a consolation. If not, it would have been a bitter pill for me personally.”

Peng Soon said his final goal before calling it a day is to try and qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Peng Soon-Yee See not only need to improve their world ranking, currently at No. 111, but also faces a tough challenge from other Malaysian pairs in order to qualify. Independent pairs Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie are the frontrunners while young pairs Hoo Pang Ron-Toh Ee Wei (No. 67) and Chen Tang Jie-Valeree Siow (No. 85) are also battling hard to for a place in the Olympics.

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