PETALING JAYA: Versatile Lai Pei Jing is probably one of the most successful back-up players in the national badminton squad.
The 19-year-old Pei Jing nailed her third Satellite title when she partnered Tan Aik Quan to beat Andhika Anhar-Nurvita Hanadia Keshya of Indonesia 21-18, 21-17 in the mixed doubles final of the Proton Malaysian International Challenge in Sandakan yesterday.
She had also won the Thailand Open satellite with Aik Quan this year and the women’s doubles with Chin Eei Hui at last year’s Malaysian edition.
Pei Jing said her focus was on scaling greater heights in the mixed doubles with her talented 21-year-old partner Aik Quan.
“It was good to defeat our Indonesian opponents for the second time. We also beat them at the Thai final but lost in the quarter-finals of the Indonesian leg. This win augurs well for us,” she said.
“We now want to make the transition from satellite winners to Grand Prix Gold champions. This is our next goal and, for now, my focus will only be on the mixed doubles.”
Pei Jing-Aik Quan’s next assignment is the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold which begins on Wednesday. But they have a tough draw. They open against a qualifier and, if they win, come up against top seeds Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia.
Pei Jing-Aik Quan were the only Malaysian winners in the home satellite event yesterday.
Hopes had been high for a triple success, but Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Lim Yin Loo-Marylen Ng Paou Leng crashed out in the finals of the men’s singles and women’s doubles respectively.
Men’s singles: Alamsyah Yunus (Ina) bt Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (Mas) 21-12, 17-21, 21-14.
Men’s doubles: Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) bt Chen Chung-jen-Lin Yen-jui (Tpe) 21-13, 21-17.
Women’s singles: Baleatrix Manuputi (Ina) bt Desi Hera (Ina) 21-19, 19-21, 21-12.
Women’s doubles: Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yano (Jpn) bt Lim Yin Loo-Marylen Ng Paou Leng (Mas) 21-16, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) bt Andhika Anhar-Nurvita Hanadia Keshya (Ina) 21-18, 21-17.