Soon Huat-Shevon well armed to quell their No. 1 threat

One month of good show has whetted mixed doubles shuttlers Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie’s appetite for more memorable displays at the Philippines SEA Games.

The world No. 8 pair have been in scintillating form, reaching the semi-finals at the Opens in China and Hong Kong this month before emerging as the runners-up at the Korean Masters last week.

Their resurgence in form comes at a most opportune time as the badminton competition gets under way at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Manila on Dec 1.

Their main challengers at the SEA Games will be world No. 4 pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

They ended their four-match losing streak to the Thais by defeating them twice – in the quarter-finals in China and Hong Kong respectively but Shevon said they would not take their opponents lightly in the Philippines.

After all, Dechapol-Sapsiree had prevented the Malaysians from winning their first SEA Games gold by beating them in the final in Kuala Lumpur two years ago

“The past few weeks have been a good boost and motivation for us because we managed to keep our game more consistent. Though it was strenuous, we pushed through and kept ourselves in good condition, ” said Shevon.

“We are feeling confident after beating the Thais but we cannot take things for granted. It won’t be easy, so we’ve to remain focused.”

Said Soon Huat: “It will be a sweet SEA Games revenge if we get cross paths with them again and beat them. Hopefully, we can bring back the gold for Malaysia this time.”

For Soon Huat, the battle back to form has been commendable considering that he has been struggling with injuries throughout the year.

The pair had first impressed with a strong semi-final finish at the All-England in March before Soon Huat’s injury woes struck.

“Coming back from my hamstring injury took quite long, it was difficult and frustrating as I took six months to fully recover, ” said Soon Huat

“So, to pull off two semi-finals and a final finish is a real relief for us and it showed that we still have what it takes, ” he added
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