V Shem still going strong after 20 years

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite turning 35 on Monday, former Olympic silver medallist Goh V Shem has no intention of hanging up his racquet anytime soon.

V Shem, who once formed the world No. 1 partnership with Tan Wee Kiong, said he has no qualms about playing in lower-tier events, including satellite tournaments, as long as he can continue playing the sport he loves.

Since his split with Wee Kiong in 2021, V Shem has been playing with his third partner, Boon Xin Yuan, with whom he began teaming up last November.

Before that, he competed alongside Low Juan Shen and even reunited with Lim Khim Wah, with whom he won the Malaysia Open in 2014.

"I've been playing badminton competitively for over 20 years now.

"I'm still able to play, and I want to keep playing," V Shem said after advancing to the main draw of the Malaysia Masters with a 21-17, 20-22, 21-18 win over national back-up members Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe.

"Things have obviously been tough since Wee Kiong and I parted ways, but I'm not demotivated at all.

"I have no problem with starting from scratch once again. Having competed and achieved at the highest level, my goal has changed.

"With Xin Yuan, I hope to give him proper guidance so that we both flourish together.

"He's been doing well; he just needs to have more confidence in his game.

"At least today we've gotten off to a solid start. Making it to the main draw of a Super 500 tournament is an achievement for us. We need to keep our spirits high."

V Shem-Xin Yuan will face Denmark's Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard in the first round tomorrow.

Since they started their partnership, V Shem-Xin Yuan's best achievement was reaching the semi-finals of the Guwahati Masters in India, a Super 100 event, last November.

However, they have since struggled to replicate that performance, exiting in the early rounds this year.

The other Malaysian pair, Liew Xun-Chia Wei Jie, failed to progress, losing 21-17, 21-18 to Kim Young Hyuk-Wang Chan.

In the men's singles qualifiers, none of the three locals — Song Joo Ven, Cheam June Wei, and Ong Zhen Yi — were able to make it through.

Joo Ven reached the final round but was denied by Japan's Koo Takahashi, losing 21-14, 13-21, 21-14. Earlier, Joo Ven defeated Azerbaijan's Ade Resky Dwicahyo 21-7, 21-17.

June Wei was stopped at the first hurdle, going down 21-15, 21-19 to K. Sathish Kumar, while Zhen Yi failed to make the most of his last-minute promotion from the reserve list, losing 22-20, 21-14 to Jason Gunawan of Hong Kong.

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