Peng Soon sets out on a double assignment in SEA Games debut

KUALA LUMPUR: Doubles shuttler Chan Peng Soon has a double mission when he makes his debut in the Laos SEA Games in December.

On Friday, back-up shuttlers Peng Soon and his partner Lim Khim Wah were named as the third pair in the team for the Games together with Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif.

Peng Soon-Khim Wah got the nod after winning the Thailand Open in July. They stunned veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah in the final.

In the Laos Games, Peng Soon-Khim Wah will take part in the men’s team event and chief coach Rexy Mainaky has also decided to field Peng Soon in the mixed doubles with Goh Liu Ying.

The 21-year-old Peng Soon expressed surprise over his inclusion and has vowed to come good in his first outing.

He said that he would try to gain as much experience as possible in the men’s doubles and nail at least a medal in the mixed doubles.

“We are going in as the third ranked pair in the men’s team and it will be such a great experience for us. This is our first major team event,” said Peng Soon.

“It will prepare us on what to expect in the Thomas Cup Finals. For now, we are unsure who will be selected for the Finals but, at least, we will know how it feels to be part of a team.”

Peng Soon, who feels that he has a better chance in the mixed doubles, said he would go all out to make a mark with Liu Ying.

“Our target is to reach the quarter-finals. The pairs to beat will be from Indonesia and Thailand. There is a chance but we have to work hard to improve our game,” he said.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying are ranked 26th in the world. Their main challengers will be Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia and Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee.

Rexy said: “I will name another mixed doubles pair later. Peng Soon-Khim Wah have done well as a pair and we feel that they are the best pair for the Laos trip. We hope they will grow to become a strong pair for the country.”

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