Olympic-bound Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Liew Daren have withdrawn from this week’s Badminton Asian Championships (BAC) at Qingdao, China but they have a good reason to do so.
After going through a hectic but a fruitful season, Peng Soon-Liu Ying and Daren are conserving energies for the India Open from April 24-29 in a bid to improve their world ranking.
London bound: Goh Liu Ying is currently ranked No. 7 in the world with partner Chan Peng Soon.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying have moved up one rung to seventh in the world – their career high – after reaching the final of the Australia Open in Sydney last week.
And Peng Soon wants to move up further to wrap up the Olympic qualifying period as the world No. 6 pair. The India Open is the last tournament that offers qualifying points for the London Games in August.
“Liu Ying and I were listed to play in the ABC but we have decided to pull out. We have competed in many tournaments and can afford to skip the ABC,” said Peng Soon.
“This one week will give us some time to catch our breath and also boost our preparation for the India Open. It has been a great year for us so far and we want to give one final push to improve our world ranking before the qualifying season ends.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who showed promise when they became the country’s first mixed doubles champion at the ABC in 2010, regained respect in the eyes of the world with their strong semi-final finish at the All-England in Birmingham last month.
“We came very close to winning our first title this year at the Australian Open (lost 20-22, 21-12, 21-23 to Taiwanese Chen Hung-ling-Cheng Wen-hsing). Our heart ached but it is better to feel the pain now rather than at the Olympic Games,” he added.
World No. 28 Daren has also decided to skip the ABC, leaving the challenge on the shoulders of two other back-up shuttlers Chan Kwong Beng and Chong Wei Feng in a tournament that will see all the top Chinese players, led by four-time world champion Lin Dan, taking part.
“I am not injured. There has been too many tournaments and this one week break from competition will give me time to work on my physical condition,” said Daren.
“My good run so far this year has given me the confidence to break into the top 20. I may be able to pull it off if I reach the quarter-finals in the India Open and also the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold (from May 1-6).
Daren, who did well to reach the quarter-finals of the All-England and Swiss Open, is in the same half with second seed Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark, China’s Chen Jin, South Korean Lee Hyun-il and Malaysian compatriot Mohd Hafiz Hashim.
In the top half with defending champion Lee Chong Wei are Indonesian Taufik Hidayat, China’s Wang Zhengming, Japan’s Sho Sasaki and Indonesian Simon Santoso.