It was mission accomplished for Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah as they became the first mixed doubles pair from Hong Kong to win a World Badminton Superseries title on Sunday in Australia.
After a three-game success over fourth seeds Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin, of China, in the final, they were able to stand at the highest step of the podium at the US$750,000 Australian Open, one of the richest of the 12 Superseries events.
The world's top-10 mixed doubles pairs were attracted to Sydney Olympic Park, not only for the prize money, but also the precious 2016 Olympics qualification points.
And the unseeded Hong Kong pair had to oust the eighth seeds, second seeds and third seeds along the way before overcoming the mainlanders 21-19, 19-21, 21-15 in the final.
It was also the first time Lee and Chau had beaten these opponents in four meetings, including a thrilling match at the 2013 Hong Kong Open when the home pair lost in the semi-finals after three games.
They took home US$59,250 for the win.
"It is important not only because they have now become the first mixed doubles gold medal winner of a Superseries from Hong Kong, but also the confidence they have gained by toppling so many top opponents on their way to victory," said head coach Tim He Yiming.
"The 2016 Rio Games qualification just began and they can now believe they can also make it at the top level. Hopefully they can start from here and make sufficient progress to challenge others at next year's Olympic Games.
Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah with their trophy in Sydney.
"But one thing is certain, their world ranking will receive a big boost following the victory and this is pivotal for the rest of the year," he said.
Lee and Chau are 13th in the world and He hoped they would make the top eight in the new rankings and so avoid meeting seeded players early in future events.
The top 16 pairs by May 2016 will qualify for the Olympic Games, with a maximum of two teams from each nation. Because China and Indonesia have more than two pairs in the top 16, the Hong Kong pair have given themselves a good chance of qualifying for Rio.
Hong Kong's other wins at Superseries level are Wang Chen and Zhou Mi in women's singles and Tse Ying-suet and Poon Lok-yan in women's doubles.