Extra motivation for Goh-Shevon to make Asiad swan song a huge hit

Thorough preparation: Shevon (left) and Soon Huat at a centralised training session. — ART CHEN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie are out to end their last Asian Games campaign on a high note.

Soon Huat, 33 and Shevon, 30 know that age is catching up with them and are keen to make the most of every big opportunity that they have.

The world No. 11 independent pair have been selected in the mixed doubles for the Hangzhou Asiad along with national pair and world No. 9 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei.

“We appreciate this opportunity and we want to enjoy our badminton,” said Shevon.

“The Asiad is very prestigious and we will try our best to bring a medal home.

“It will be a very big achievement if we can do this towards the end of our careers.”

Soon Huat-Shevon though are expecting a tough battle.

“The competition will be very stiff as now we not only have to contend with the traditionally strong countries like China, South Korea and Japan but must also watch out for those coming up like Thailand and Taiwan.

“The tournament will be equal to a World Tour Super 1000 event.”

There are not only medals at stake but also ranking points towards qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics at the Games.

Currently, Soon Huat-Shevon are battling with Tang Jie-Ee Wei for a spot in the Olympics.

Only one pair can make the cut if both finish in the top 16 before the end of the qualifying period at the end of April next year.

But both pairs will be able to qualify if both finish in the top eight.

“The Asiad presents us with an extra opportunity to get ranking points as well,” said Shevon.

“Our focus is on getting into the top eight.

“We are not thinking about fighting against Tang Jie-Ee Wei because both of us can go to the Olympics if we finish in the top eight.

“This will be good for Malaysia as well.”

Soon Huat-Shevon are currently undergoing centralised training with Tang Jie-Ee Wei and the other members of the Asian Games team at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.

“It feels good to be back here as this is where our badminton careers started,” said Shevon.

“We have about five days of training here (Tuesday to Saturday) before we leave for Hangzhou.

“Our focus is on stabilising our game, so that we are more consistent.”

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