Kuala Lumpur: After his mixed doubles partner, Lai Pei Jing was dropped by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last Saturday, World No. 12 mixed doubles player Tan Kian Meng has decided to leave BAM so that he could continue his partnership with Lai Pei Jing and trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 26-year-old Tan and 28-year-old Lai Pei Jing are currently ranked 13th in the Race To Tokyo rankings with 51,333 points. On paper, it’s hard for them to surpass compatriots Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai (with a total of 56,792 Race to Tokyo points) and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (with a total of 63,560 Race to Tokyo points). However, everything is possible, if they could do well in the upcoming Swiss and German Open, they could still have a chance to fulfill their Olympic dreams.
“These past few days have been rough because not only that I was thinking about my short term goals, I was also thinking about my future plans. Since we still have a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, that’s why I’ve decided to leave BAM and to resume my partnership with Pei Jing and to compete as an independent pair,” said Tan to My All Sport.
“If I do not qualify for this Olympics, I can still target the next Olympics, and I will do my best. The next two events (Swiss and German Open) are very important. I can’t just let the opportunity slip away, and I don’t want to regret it,” added Tan.
BAM dropped Lai from the Malaysian national squad in an announcement made last Saturday, while Tan was given a stern warning by BAM that he has to show rapid improvement.