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2 JAN 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Professional mixed doubles player Goh Liu Ying is confident that the COVID-19 pandemic would not dash her hope of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics although the coronavirus had severely disrupted tournament schedules.

Liu Ying said she and her partner Chan Peng Soon remain optimistic despite the “Race to Tokyo” being tight, as they are now ranked seventh in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.

“I know we have to compete with two other national pairs (Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai) for the two Olympics slots but nothing is certain, as COVID-19 has created uncertainties on the tournaments to be held,” she told Bernama recently.

Liu Ying and Peng Soon are scheduled to play in the back-to-back Yonex Thailand Open from Jan 12-17 and Toyota Thailand Open from Jan 19-24.

Nevertheless, the two tournaments, which offer prize money of US$1 million (about RM4 million) each, do not offer qualifying points for Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from July 23 to Aug 8.

“We are going for these two tournaments to get back our playing rhythm after being out of international action for almost nine months due to COVID-19,” said Liu Ying, whose last international tournament was the All-England in March last year.

Liu Ying and Peng Soon won a silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

BWF recently announced that Olympics qualifying tournaments would resume at the Swiss Open to be held from March 2-7, 2021, followed by the Indian Open on May 11-16, before the final “Race to Tokyo” list is issued on May 18.

These rankings will also be used to seed players for the Olympics competition. The top 16 pairs will qualify for the Olympics, with a country limited to two pairs. -Bernama


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