MIXED doubles Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai continued their charge for an Olympic ticket by reaching the Spain Masters quarter-finals yesterday. But their national teammates Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing faltered in Barcelona.
Soon Huat-Shevon and Kian Meng-Pei Jing were the top two seeds in the tournament but their objective of meeting each other in the final failed to materialise.
World No 9 Soon Huat-Shevon were forced to battle for three games by India’s Pranav Jerry Chopra-N. Sikky Reddy before winning 21-16, 17-21, 21-11 in the second round.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing, after reaching back-to-back semi-finals in the Indonesia and Thailand Masters last month, suffered a 21-19, 21-18 defeat to Taiwan’s Lee Jhe Huei-Hsu Ya Ching in the second round.
Malaysia can have two pairs in the Olympics if they finish in the top eight at the end of the Olympic qualifying period on April 2.
Top seeds Soon Huat-Shevon will play South Koreans Kim Sa Rang-Kim Ha Na in the last eight today.
The Olympic qualification battle had intensified after several tournaments were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Winning in Barcelona will be crucial for the Malaysian pairs if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.