Badminton: Mixed doubles ace may reunite with Peng Soon for finale

Badminton: Mixed doubles ace may reunite with Peng Soon for finale

PETALING JAYA: It is set to be the last hurrah for Goh Liu Ying and her most illustrious partner Chan Peng Soon at the Malaysian Open next year.

Liu Ying, 33, confirmed yesterday her career is over and the home tournament is where she wants to take the final bow.

And it wasn’t rocket science to figure out who would be her partner in the last outing although she refused to let the cat out of the bag.

All indications point out to a Liu Ying and Peng Soon final reunion in the Malaysian Open from Jan 10-15 as the latter is also strongly rumoured to announce his retirement soon.

That would be a fitting send-off for Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who had achieved Malaysia’s biggest mixed doubles honour to date, winning a silver medal at the 2016 Rid de Janeiro Olympics.

“Yes. I’m retiring. Malaysian Open will be my last tournament but I have to qualify for it,” said Liu Ying.

“Under the current world ranking system, the points from 2020 events will be deducted. I’m not too sure of the calculation but hope my ranking won’t be affected too much.

“If not (able to qualify), I don’t have other tournaments to look forward to. I did not qualify for the World Tour Finals (Dec 14-18).”

Her world ranking with the 34-year-old Peng Soon is still in place where they are now at 19th position and there is still the possibility of them remaining in the top 32 to make the cut for the Malaysian Open.

The Melaka-born shuttler Liu Ying admitted that bringing the curtains down on her career was a heart-wrenching decision.

“It was a decision made with a heavy heart because I love the sport. Playing with Peng Soon was very different because there was the responsibility of wanting to win and achieve so many other things in the sport,” explained Liu Ying.

“That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy my career now that I am an independent shuttler and playing with different partners.

“This year was the best year as I really enjoyed partnering (Ong) Yew Sin and (Soong) Joo Ven. This is why it was very difficult for me to end it.

“But every good thing must come to an end and I knew that when I split with Peng Soon (last year), I will probably have another year or two left to play.

“But the time, I believe, has come now.”

Besides winning the silver medal at the Olympics, she reached a career high ranking of world No 3 with Peng Soon in 2012 and won the 2010 Asian Championships title.

They have also won 10 international titles on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) circuit, with the 2012 Japan Open victory being the most notable achievement, in a career that spanned for almost 15 years.

Always a reliable team player, Liu Ying featured for Malaysia’s gold medal winning teams of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games (mixed team) and the 2009 Vientiane SEA Games (women’s team).

Peng Soon-Liu Ying became an independent pair in 2019 and before parting ways at the end of last year. Liu Ying stayed as an independent player while Peng Soon returned to BAM stable.

Liu Ying has completed a grand run and nothing would make the fans happier than seeing her pairing with Peng Soon for one last time at the 2023 Malaysian Open.

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