‘I’m nobody without Peng Soon’ says Liu Ying

‘I’m nobody without Peng Soon’ says Liu Ying

KUALA LUMPUR,. “My journey as a badminton player would be incomplete without Chan Peng Soon and thank you for everything.” That was the humble message from Goh Liu Ying to her former mixed doubles partner Peng Soon following their separation this week.

Liu Ying said Peng Soon was her backbone in the sport for the past 13 years and described him as the best partner she had ever played with in the court.

“I feel everybody has the right to choose the individual’s own path, I respected his decision while he respected mine.

“It was really hard for me to part ways with him but I believe every journey has an end and perhaps this end game is good for us,” she told Bernama when contacted.

Following the split, Peng Soon has rejoined the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM). The pair had turned independent players outside BAM since they won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the decision to absorb the accomplished 33-year-old shuttler was made with an eye on strengthening the national mixed doubles department and implementing a mentoring role for Peng Soon in the youthful national squad.

Asked on her next move, the 32-year-old Liu Ying said she wanted to take a break for at least two months before deciding on her next journey.

As a professional player, Liu Ying admitted that it would be difficult for her to search for a sponsorship and a new partner due to the lack of shuttlers at the moment, if she decides to return to the court soon.

“It’s not easy to find a new partner, we are not like an association in which you can decide to let a junior player as your new partner,” she added.

Meanwhile, she believed that Peng Soon will be a good role model to the juniors either as a player or coach in BAM. She also shared aspects of their long journey on and off the court

“Peng Soon often got emotional everytime we played in the court, I also have to control my emotion too even though he is a good dad and husband outside the court,” she said.

The professional duo had earlier pulled out from the upcoming BWF World Championships 2021 just six days before it kicks off in Huelva, Spain, citing the age factor, fitness and the increase in Covid-19 cases worldwide.

Their withdrawal meant that the recent BWF World Tour Finals 2021 was their last tournament together as a pair. They lost to Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the semi-finals.

Apart from the Olympic silver medal in 2016, Malaysia’s best ever mixed doubles pair clinched 12 titles as well as the gold medal for the mixed team event in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, mixed doubles bronze medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and reached their highest ever ranking of world No. 3 in 2013.

— Bernama

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