PETALING JAYA: Malaysia have the biggest representation of independent shuttlers in the World Tour Finals this year and all of them have one common goal – to give their coach Chin Eei Hui a rousing send-off with a good showing.
The Finals starting tomorrow in Bangkok, Thailand will be Eei Hui’s last tournament with her charges Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles), Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien (women’s doubles) and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles).
Eei Hui will leave for New Zealand next February to coach the North Harbour Club in Auckland.
Shevon is determined to make it special for Eei Hui.
“All of us have one mission, to do well, that will be the best parting gift for our coach,” said Shevon.
“Soon Huat and I have been training under her since 2015. She is not a coach but a mentor and a friend to the team. She has also been taking care of each one of us.”
“As a coach, I think her extra strength is in paying extra attention to small details.”
World No. 11 Shevon and Soon Huat have not won any titles this year but they have beaten several top players.
They defeated Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medal winners Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan in the quarter-finals before losing to Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong of China in the semi-finals in the Denmark Open in October.
“The draw for the Finals has not been done yet, but hopefully, we will avoid Siwei-Yaqiong in the early rounds. They are good but we did give them a good fight in Denmark.
“Overall, it has been a good year for Soon Huat and me but it could have been better.” she said.
“Our main goal is to get a breakthrough and see improvement in our game. We want to overcome our opponents in more convincing ways. It will be great for us to reach at least the semi-finals in Bangkok,” added Shevon.
The other Malaysian players in the fray are Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)’s reigning world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) and French Open winners Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s doubles).
There are no representatives for Malaysia in the men and women’s singles as Zii Jia missed the cut while S. Kisona and Goh Jin Wei are just not good enough yet.