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PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU Pre-tournament Highlights by Liu Ying GOH

One of the most anticipated badminton events locally is the Malaysia Masters, with Daihatsu as its sponsor, the tournament name will be changed to “PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU“. With Daihatsu’s investment into the sport, it will see a staggering prize pool of USD 350,000 – eclipsing the payouts from past competitions.

Here, Liu Ying talks about the upgraded PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU, her expectation and preparation for the tournament. Liu Ying looks forward to seeing action in the upgraded tournament which is scheduled from 16-21 January in Kuala Lumpur.  She believes the Malaysia Masters will be an explosive affair as the world’s top players prepare to make their way and converge in Kuala Lumpur to provide top badminton action at Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City in Bukit Jalil.

How important is the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU to you?

I’m certainly excited and look forward to playing in the upgraded PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU. I believe, the excitement is growing amongst badminton fans in the country as they eagerly await to witness plenty of world-class badminton action at Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City.
For the first time, we’ve tasted action at the newly-refurbished and the upgraded badminton arena during the biennial Southeast Asia Games in August this year. The facilities are simply state-of-the art and world class standard and having the tournament there is certainly a morale-booster for any player.

The Malaysia Masters 2018 is very important not only for me, but I believe, to all players as well. To play well and to get good results early in the year is very important, to help players keep their momentum in the game and remain on the right track and direction in the game.

That is why, I’m treating the tournament with great importance, apart from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Jakarta Asian Games. I believe I will get back to the top again. It will be great to win a title with Tang Jie CHEN whose positive ad great attitude on court makes it easy for me.

The promotion of the tournament to Level 3 under the Badminton World Federation’s new tournament structure has certainly makes the tournament even more attractive, especially with the huge prize money on offer.  How excited are you?

Certainly very excited. This is one of the new World Tour series initiated by Badminton World Federation (BWF) and we are all excited and in high spirits to do well. With the upgrading, the total prize money and winning stakes have also increased from US$120,000 to US$350,000. I believe this would surely entice the world’s top players, including players in the top 10 ranking, to make their way to Kuala Lumpur . This is a very good development especially looking at Daihatsu’s solid commitment and support in ensuring that the tournament can live up to its billings.

Not only that, this will also provide fans with the opportunity to watch quality play and action and help add more interest in the sport amongst the masses especially the kids and budding shuttlers.

It’s great to know that Perodua and Daihatsu will be involved in a big way in bringing the tournament to Malaysia. I’m hoping that this tournament will get better and better each year and my hope is for fans to come out in droves, show their support, be part of the action and enjoy the action by many top players.

How do you prepare for the tournament especially after your recent injury which saw you staying out of the courts for quite some time?

Liu Ying GOH and CHAN Peng Soon

I’ll be making a comeback after my second surgery and a long process of rehabilitation. I need to work extra hard and be more focused as I know, expectations will be high on me especially from the national badminton camp and our fans.  I’m starting off with my new partner, the 2016 World Junior bronze medallist, Tang Jie CHEN in the upcoming the fourth-tier India International Challenge in Mumbai from Nov 29-Dec 3. Let see how it goes from there.

To be up against top mixed doubles players like ZHENG Siwei/CHEN Qingchen or arch rival Liliyana NATSIR/Tontowi AHMAD of Indonesia, you must be on top of your game, always a few steps ahead.  Competition in the mixed doubles is getting stiffer as players are already familiar with each other style of play and on-court strategies. I need to work hard to get back to my old form with my partner. This partnership may be permanent or temporary. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have my former partner CHAN Peng Soon back on courts for two other major tournaments next year, the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April and the Asian Games in Jakarta in August.

How do you regards the participation of other players, in terms of quality and  strength, and perhaps, players who could possible shine in the tournament?

LEE Chong Wei

I’m quite certain that the Malaysia Masters 2018 will feature and attract many top players especially, as I’ve mentioned, those in top 10 bracket.

The 2017 Malaysia Masters which took place in Sibu, Sarawak (East Malaysia) in January 2017 was a world class and well-organized tournament and brought cheers to the local fans in Malaysia despite the absence of Malaysia’s LEE Chong Wei and Chinese ace LIN Dan. We saw the emergence of players like eventual winners NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong and India’s Saina NEHWAL.  All in, there were some 261 players from 16 countries and the crowd had great time enjoying quality badminton action from some of the best world players.  For the first three days itself, some 1,000 spectators turned up and for the quarter and semifinals, the numbers rose to more than 2,000. The final day saw over 3,000 spectators flocking the arena which resulted in massive traffic and vehicles around the stadium. 

Prior to 2017, the 2016 Malaysia Masters which was held at the SPICE Arena in Penang was also a success from the overall as well as local point of view. The finals was great, made even memorable with Malaysian ace LEE Chong Wei and team mate Iskandar ZULKARNAIN locking horns in the finals. It was a close match, especially in the first set but eventually, LEE Chong Wei got the better of  Iskandar ZULKARNAIN with a 21-18, 21-11 victory.

For the upcoming Malaysia Masters, apart from the senior players, me and my partner CHAN Peng Soon, TAN Wee Kiong/ONG Yew Sin and Goh V Shem/TEO Ee Yi, spectators can look forward to some promising action from youngsters like 17 year-old GOH Jin Wei, who has worn the national colours since 2014. Apart from that, youngsters like LEE Zii Jia who won the 2017 Polish International, Joo Ven SOONG (Polish International runner-up) and World Junior silver medallist Jun Hao LEONG are certain to provide some strong performances in front of the home crowd.

Finally, what’s your message to fans and spectators?

To all fans, please show your support to our Malaysian badminton team as well as to all other participating players who will be competing in the Malaysia Masters… this is a great opportunity for them to witness world class action live on the courts.  

Please support our badminton heroes  and I can assure you there’ll be plenty of action and good memories. So, make your way to Axiata Arena from Jan 16-21 to be part of the action.

*As this interview was conducted prior to the decision made during the selections, there may be differences to the actual participating players.

‘‘PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU’’ Tournament Overview

Name PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2018 presented by DAIHATSU
Dates 16 January 2018 (Tues) – 21 January 2018 (Sun)
Venue Axiata Arena
Organized by Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)
Officially Recognized by Badminton World Federation (BWF)
Main Sponsorship Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd., Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad
Event Categories Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles. Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles

Liu Ying GOH (born 30 May 1989)

Liu Ying GOH is a Malaysian female badminton player who has been consistently ranked among the top 10 mixed doubles player in the world. She was ranked as high as world No. 3. She won the silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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