Pei Jing keen on ‘over­time’

New Straits Times - - Sport -

HAV­ING to play in ev­ery tie can be tax­ing, but an ex­cited Lai Pei Jing is up for the chal­lenge as she pre­pares for the May 21-28 Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia.

The mixed dou­bles shut­tler — who will be mak­ing her de­but in the bi­en­nial mixed team event — is ex­pected to fea­ture in ev­ery tie in the ab­sence of Goh Liu Ying.

Liu Ying, who is the na­tional No 1 duo with Chan Peng Soon, is skip­ping the event due to a shoul­der in­jury.

The other two mixed dou­bles spe­cial­ists listed for the com­pe­ti­tion are Tan Kian Meng and Cheah Yee See.

Na­tional mixed dou­bles coach Chin Eei Hui had ear­lier re­vealed that Pei Jing would have to play a key role in ev­ery tie as she could be paired with ei­ther Peng Soon or Kian Meng.

“I know that ex­pec­ta­tions are very high on me to per­form since Liu Ying can’t make the trip. For most peo­ple, this would mean added pres­sure, but I am ex­cited,” said Pei Jing when met at the Academy Bad­minton Malaysia (ABM).

“The mixed dou­bles match in ev­ery tie could be the de­cider and I have ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing with both Kian Meng and Peng Soon.

“Of course, my game is more solid with Kian Meng as he is my reg­u­lar part­ner, but Peng Soon and I have also played to­gether be­fore.

“My part­ner­ship with Peng Soon may be a lit­tle rusty, but I have faith in him. He is the most se­nior mixed dou­bles player and I am sure he will con­trol things well on court.”

Pei Jing had a short part­ner­ship with Peng Soon in 2014 and the pair did rea­son­ably well to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals of the In­dia Open Su­per Series and the semi-fi­nals of the Malaysia Masters and Syed Modi In­ter­na­tional Bad­minton Cham­pi­onships.

The 16-mem­ber na­tional squad will leave for Gold Coast on Wed­nes­day. Malaysia, who have not won the Sudirman Cup ti­tle be­fore, are in Group 1C with Ja­pan and Ger­many.

Lai Pei Jing

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