Soon Huat-Shevon aim to smash through quarter-final barrier

KUALA LUMPUR: Independent mixed doubles Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai are prepared to go the distance for a medal at the World Championships in Copenhagen next week.

In their fourth appearance at the world meet, the world No 10 pair are hoping for a semi-final breakthrough, after reaching the quarter-finals in the last two editions, in Spain (2021) and Japan (2022).

Soon Huat-Shevon acknowledged that it will go down to a test of physical and mental endurance against opponents in the top half of the draw who include China's world No 1 Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong and world No 3 compatriots Feng Yan Zhe-Huang Dong Ping.

"We can't comment much about the draw because this is how it is in every tournament. I can only say it's fair.

"So far, our preparations have been good, and we have been working really hard to get into the right mindset.

"To overcome any of the strong opponents will require us to be in exceptional condition, physically and mentally. It's all about endurance," Shevon said.

Soon Huat-Shevon, seeded 10th, have received a first round bye, but are expected to play formidable China duo, Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin in the round of 16.

The Malaysians are wary of the world No. 7 combination, especially after losing to them in the Swiss Open final in March.

"The top half of the draw is really strong. We've lost to this China pair before in the final of the Swiss Open, so it's important for us to get our heads in the right space before we face them again.

"This will be our fourth appearance at the World Championships, and our best showing was reaching the quarter-finals.

"I'd like to go one up and try to win a medal," added Soon Huat.

The other Malaysian mixed doubles pairs who will be fighting for honours in Denmark are world No. 17 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei, and world No. 21 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.

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