PETALING JAYA: It’s back to the grind.
Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See are set to get their 2024 Paris Olympic qualification bid under way when they compete in the Thailand Masters from Jan 31-Feb 5 in Bangkok, their first tournament together since turning independent last November.
The pair, who are currently ranked No. 34 in the world, had decided to leave the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to try and revive their flagging partnership ahead of the one-year Olympics qualifying period which starts in May.
They are back in training after a short break for the Chinese New Year.
“We started training again yesterday after spending five days with my family. So far, everything is good in training,” said Peng Soon.
Peng Soon, who will turn 35 in April, has switched his focus to making the cut for the Olympics with Yee See but face a huge battle to do so as two other independent pairs – world No. 6 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and world No. 7 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie – are ahead of them in the race for the two spots.
BAM’s Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (No. 57) and Hoo Pang Ron-Teoh Mei Xing (No. 73) are also set to provide added competition for the Olympic slots.
Two pairs from a country can make the cut only if both are ranked in the top eight by the end of the qualification period.
In the Thailand Masters, Peng Soon-Yee See will likely go up against top seeds Kian Meng-Pei Jing in the second round, barring any upsets.
Soon Huat-Shevon will also be in the fray and will open their campaign against Israel’s world No. 62 Misha Zilberman-Svetlana Zilberman.