Chan Peng Soon planning for life after badminton but still has Olympic dreams

Chan Peng Soon plans to hang up his badminton racquet next year but has started planning for his future with CPS Badminton Academy.

The 35-year-old, who won a silver medal with Goh Liu Ying in the mixed doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, quit the national team last year to become an independent player.

The pair played together for the last time in this year’s Malaysia Open, losing 21-18, 15-21, 7-21 to Indonesia’s Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu in the first round of the Super 1000 event at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Goh has retired and runs GLY Badminton Academy in Melaka. She is also expecting her first child later this year.

But the fire to compete still burns brightly in Chan.

“The dream is to retire after the Olympics, but my partner (Cheah Yee See) and I have to buck up,” said Chan, following a 21-19, 21-17 defeat to South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won at the Korea Open on Wednesday.

“Our next two tournaments are in Japan and Australia. We must do well in both tournaments as we need the points.”

Chan and Cheah must be among the Top 16 pairs to qualify for Paris, but are now ranked No. 35.

They are only the fourth-best mixed doubles pairing in Malaysia, behind Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (No. 5), Goh Soon Huat- Shevon Lai Jemie (No. 18) and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (No. 25)

However, each country can only enter a maximum of two pairs, provided they are among the Top 16.

As such, Chan and Cheah have plenty of catching up to do, as the Olympic qualifying period ends on April 28, 2024.

“It will not be easy, but I am determined to give it my best shot,” said Chan.

“It has been seven years since Goh and I won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics. I will never forget that moment. I want to make it to Paris to savour the Olympics for one last time before retiring.”

Meanwhile, Chan said his CPS Academy will organise its first adult badminton workshop on Aug 12, 13, and 19 at 222 Badminton Centre in Petaling Jaya, Setapak Badminton Centre in Kuala Lumpur, or CK Sports Centre in Kepong.

The highlight of this workshop series is a badminton tournament on Aug 20 at Setapak Badminton Centre.

Registration fees are RM150 per pax for one session, and RM230 per pax for one session of the workshop, and tournament.

“We train children and adults at our academy, but this will be the first workshop for adults,” said Chan.

“Badminton is popular among Malaysians, but many players often lack the fundamental tactics and techniques.

“We hope to provide Malaysian social badminton players a chance to receive professional training and elevate their game.”

Each workshop session offers an immersive and tactical experience. Participants will have the privilege of learning from current national players such as Chan, and former national player Peck Yen Wei. Both are part of CPS Badminton Academy’s coaching team.

“We are delighted to share our knowledge, such as doubles strategy, tactical footwork, and powerful smashing techniques, ensuring that all participants can enjoy the game safely, while experiencing the thrill of an intense match,” said Peck, CPS Badminton Academy’s Klang Valley head coach.

Those interested can register at https://linktr.ee/axcla.creative.

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