Liu Ying will chalk up another first with third Olympics appearance

PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles ace Goh Liu Ying is set for another remarkable milestone in her career when she competes in the Tokyo Olympics next month.

The 32-year-old, who plays with Chan Peng Soon, will become the first Malaysian woman shuttler to make three appearances at the quadrennial showpiece – having also played at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

She will surpass former top pair Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty who have featured in back-to-back editions of the 2004 Athens and 2008 Bejing Games.

Liu Ying has already achieved several firsts for Malaysian badminton at the Olympics level.

In 2012, Liu Ying and Peng Soon became the first Malaysian mixed pair to compete at the Olympics when they qualified for the London Games.

The dynamic duo then clinched a silver medal in Rio, a first in the event and with that Liu Ying also became the nation’s first woman medallist in badminton.

Liu Ying was delighted to have added another feather to her cap as she seeks to inspire more young female athletes to dream big.

“I’m really proud to be heading to Tokyo for my third Olympics,” said Liu Ying, who’s one of only three Malaysian women to have won a medal at the Olympics besides divers Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong.

“I feel blessed and happy to be able to play at the highest level for this long. I have gone through many obstacles throughout my career, especially having to deal with a few major injuries in the past,” said Liu YIng.

“So, these several firsts at the Olympics certainly means a lot to me.

“In Malaysian badminton perspective, this shows that the sport is not only defined by men but also women, who are getting stronger and better.

“I hope more young female athletes will be motivated to be great not only in badminton, but also in whatever sport they pursue,” added the national contingent’s flagbearer.

Meanwhile, the draw for badminton will be held on July 8 and seventh seeds Peng Soon-Liu Ying are ready to face anyone.

Only the top four seeded pairs – China’s Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong, Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, China’s Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping and Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktvianti of Indonesia – will be separated into four different groups.

The 12 remaining pairs will be divided in groups by lot.

“It’s always performance over luck. Whoever you face at the Olympics, you just got to be at your utmost best,” added Liu Ying.