KUALA LUMPUR: Mixed doubles specialist Chan Peng Soon plans to make full use of the three back-to-back tournaments in Europe to win the trust of his new partner Lai Pei Jing.
Peng Soon and Pei Jing are the top seeds in the Austrian International Open from Feb 19-22 but are unseeded for the more challenging German Open GP Gold from Feb 26-March 2 and the All-England from March 4-9.
This is based on the latest list of entries disclosed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Thursday.
Pei Jing is combining with Peng Soon as his partner of five years, Goh Liu Ying, has decided to undergo knee surgery.
Liu Ying is likely to be ruled out of competition for at least six months once she goes under the knife.
The 26-year-old Peng Soon said that he’s ready to start all over again with Pei Jing – and is even quietly hoping to make the cut for this year’s World Championships in Copenhagen in August.
“It is good that I have an immediate chance now to test my partnership with Pei Jing. We have played in local tournaments before but the international stage is a whole new game,” said Peng Soon.
Peng Soon and Pei Jing showed that they do have the right chemistry when they powered their way to the mixed doubles title in the National Grand Prix Finals at Putrajaya in December.
“We are the reigning national champions and I do have a good understanding of her game. Pei Jing is young but a well-balanced player … I would reckon that all she needs right now is to add quality to her overall performance,” said Peng Soon.
“The tournaments in Europe will surely give us some time to trust one another and build an understanding … see how best we can make this partnership work.”
The 21-year-old Pei Jing had partnered Tan Aik Quan for the last three years and the pair are currently ranked 27th in the world.
“Pei Jing and I are able to qualify for this year’s All-England because we have good rankings with our previous partners. There is, however, no guarantee that we will get a place in the world meet,” said Peng Soon.
“We have to achieve consistently good results in the next few tournaments to be able to stand a chance of qualifying for the worlds. It looks quite impossible at this point but I believe it is achievable.”
On Liu Ying’s decision to opt for surgery, Peng Soon said: “She knows best.”
For the record, Peng Soon-Liu Ying have done well to raise the profile of mixed doubles over the last five years. The duo did well to win the 2010 Asian Badminton Championships, 2011 German Open, 2012 Japan Open Super Series and 2012 Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold.