Ahead of their third Olympics appearance in Tokyo as the national contingent’s most experienced pair, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying revealed their partnership came with its ups and downs.
The Malaysians have been playing together since 2009, which saw them achieve several honours including silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
But the journey was not always smooth sailing, as Chan revealed the pair were often at odds due to differing opinions.
“We have fought many times, during training, during tournaments, even outside of badminton. It’s because our bond is so close, that the personal and professional aspect of ourselves become mixed together.
“We have been together so long, and see each other almost daily. Our different characters are the cause of our arguments. She can get too confident at times, while I am the opposite and always trying to get her to refocus,” said Chan during a live session with Astro Arena.
Goh shared a hearty laughed listening to Chan, but agreed.
“We have different characters. I’m more daring and he’s the more conservative one. So emotions can run high, and we need our coach to intervene sometimes! But when we fight, we always look to problem solve, rather than give each other the cold shoulder,” she said.
Arguing for the sake of their partnership could help raising their game, which is what Chan and Goh are striving for when they do battle in a feisty Group D of the mixed doubles.
They are housed along with second seeds Chinese pair Wang Li Lyu-Huang Dong Ping, Hong Kong duo Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet and Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich.
Against Wang-Huang, the Malaysians do not have a good head-to-head record, only winning twice in nine occasions.
It’s the same against Tang-Tse, where they only won once in five meetings against the pair coached by former national doubles shuttler Choong Tan Fook.
Chan admitted they did not study their opponents enough in the past, but promised a different outcome this time around.
“Against the Hong Kong pair especially, we had not given our best in the past. This time we have studied and are prepared for them,” he said.
Goh added the key to beating Tang-Tse is to disrupt their rhythm and not allow them to settle into their stride.
With Huang-Wang expected to top the group based on their seeding, Chan-Goh and Tang-Tse are expected to slug it out to join them as the top two pairs to the quarter-finals.
The world number seven are expected to win against Lamsfuss-Herttrich, whom they have beaten on three previous occasions.