Pei Jing aims to recoup 'lost' savings by winning tournaments

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite falling victim to an investment scam recently, Malaysia's mixed doubles shuttler Lai Pei Jing remains strong-willed.

The 31-year-old is determined to win tournaments to recoup her lost savings in the scam, which is said to be around RM400,000.

After reaching the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open last week, Pei Jing went one step further to reach the women's doubles final at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Playing with her one-time partner Lim Chiew Sien, the scratch pair stunned Paris Olympic-bound Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam of Hong Kong 21-13, 18-21, 21-14 in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the day, Pei Jing and her regular mixed doubles partner Kian Meng lost in straight games 21-11, 21-11 to China's Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin.

Pei Jing-Chiew Sien will face Indonesia's Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma-Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi for the title on Sunday.

Speaking to the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Pei Jing, who has not spoken much about the scam incident before this, said: "It's very difficult for me to describe what I'm really feeling right now. It's incredible.

"You know I really want to leave the bad (scam) things behind and look forward. What I can do right now is earn back my money, so I have to work harder on court and really focus in every single match."

Chiew Sien, who usually partners Vivian Hoo, said she respects Pei Jing for staying strong despite her personal setbacks.

"I really respect Pei Jing because it's not easy to continue playing after what happened to her. She also is a good guide for me on court, especially when I'm lost," added Chiew Sien.

Meanwhile, in the men's doubles semi-finals, Choong Hon Jian-Haikal Nazri's impressive run came to an end when the world No. 26 duo lost 21-18, 21-9 to top seeds He Ji Ting-Ren Xiang Yu of China.

The Chinese world No. 8 will play Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in the final.

In the men's singles last four, Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia downed Taiwan's Lee Chia Hao 10-21, 21-15, 21-10 to set up a showdown with Japan's Kodai Naraoka on Sunday.

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