Soon Huat injures hip but plods on for win with wife to enter semis

Giving a good fight: Goh Soon Huat (left) and Shevon Lai Jemie in action against Indonesia’s Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu.

KUALA LUMPUR: A hip injury did not stop mixed doubles shuttler Goh Soon Huat from combining with Shevon Lai Jemie to set-up an all-Malaysian semi-final with Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei in the Malaysian Masters.

The 33-year-old Soon Huat injured his right hip in the second game against Indonesia’s Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu but refused to throw in the towel and kept going with wife Shevon to come away with a hard-fought 12-21, 21-17, 21-17 win at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The victory ensured that Malaysia will have a representative in the final tomorrow after Tang Jie-Ee Wei had earlier come out on top over another Malaysian pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-19, 21-14.

Shevon credited her partner for playing through the pain after the injury.

“I’m thankful to my partner for not giving up although he had to play with pain,” said Shevon.

“Psychologically, it was tough for him as there is always the fear of getting a serious injury.

“The issue forced us to rethink our game plan and we tried to use the injury timeout to break our opponents’ rhythm.

“I had to step up as well and I’m thankful that we managed to finish the match.

Soon Huat said: “I felt some pain in my hip when I tried to retrieve the shuttle. We stayed calm after that and were patient and managed to get the win.

“I need to focus fully on my recovery for the semi-final tomorrow (today).”

World No. 18 Soon Huat-Shevon are now looking forward to the match against world No. 9 Tang Jie-Ee Wei.

The former memorably beat the latter in their last meeting to capture the Swiss Open title in March.

Soon Huat-Shevon also defeated Tang Jie-Ee Wei in the Korean Open last year while the younger pair did come out on top once in the Japan Masters last year.

Shevon believes the more consistent pair on the day will win this time.

“We beat Tang Jie-Ee Wei in the Swiss Open but this is a new match,” said Shevon.

“We have experience on our side while they are younger and have more speed and power.

“It will come down to which pair is more stable and consistent throughout the match tomorrow (today). Anyway, win or lose, there will be a Malaysian pair in the final and it’s good to see our mixed pairs doing well in this tournament.”

Kian Meng-Pei Jing were the last mixed pair to reach the final of the tournament when they went on to beat Soon Huat-Shevon to win the title in 2017.

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