KUALA LUMPUR: It’s confirmed. Malaysia’s top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will skip the SEA Games in Myanmar to play in the BWF’s World Super Series Finals next month.
The SEA Games badminton competition in Myanmar is from Dec 9-14 while the Super Series Finals in Kuala Lumpur is from Dec 11-15.
After weighing the pros and cons, national mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan decided to let Peng Soon-Liu Ying skip the SEA Games and focus on qualifying for the Super Series Finals.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will now join Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the Finals.
“It was a toss-up between the SEA Games and the Super Series Finals for Peng Soon-Liu Ying. Now, we can see clearly that they have a good chance of making the cut for the Finals. So, I’ve dropped their names from the SEA Games squad,” said Jeremy.
“It was not a big problem because I have submitted the names of three pairs for the SEA Games. Besides Peng Soon-Liu Ying, I had also named Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing and Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo in the tentative list.
“A country can only have two representatives at the SEA Games ... and everything has fallen into place now,” he said.
“Peng Soon-Liu Ying stand a chance of doing well in the Super Series and have two chances to book their places. I’d rather they concentrate on that.”
Jeremy has named Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who are seventh in the Super Series ranking, for the China Open from Nov 12-17 and the Hong Kong Open from Nov 19-24.
They dropped one rung after losing in the second round of the Denmark Open and reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open last week.
Only the top eight pairs after the 12-leg Super Series get to compete in the Finals.
“It has been a challenging year for Peng Soon and Liu Ying. They showed improvement in Europe but are not at their best yet. They were beaten by China’s world No. 1 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (14-21, 12-21). They now know how much more work they need to put in to narrow the gap on the Chinese pair – and to beat them,” he said.
On Malaysia’s hopes in the SEA Games in the absence of Peng Soon-Liu Ying, Jeremy said: “We will not know what the second stringers are capable of until we let them play on the big stage. The SEA Games will be an opportunity for Aik Quan-Pei Jing and Jian Guo-Yin Loo to step up.
“We hope they will grasp it with both hands and deliver a medal.”