KUALA LUMPUR: After much debate about the status of their careers, two independent pairs Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are set to get their season off to a flying start after reaching the final of their respective events at the Thailand Masters in Bangkok.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, both the 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists made easy work of their opponents to prove that they can still do well, even after leaving the national body.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying saw off Hong Kong's scratch pairing of Tang Chun Man and Ng Tsz Tau 21-16, 21-15 in the mixed doubles semi-finals, while V Shem-Wee Kiong needed only 26 minutes to dispatch Japan's Akira Koga-Taichi Saito 21-12, 21-10 to reach their first men’s doubles final in 12 months.
"I don't think there is a huge difference between playing under the national body or as professionals because at the end of the day, we all want to win.
"I think perhaps the desire to do so is different because now we are on our own and we have to do the best we can to sustain ourselves," said Peng Soon.
"Having said that, it has been a brilliant start to our season. Of course, the target was to reach the final after having won the title last year, but now our focus is on our next opponents.
“We are definitely going for the title," added Peng Soon, who together with Liu Ying will play second seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand for the title.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, whose last title was the 2016 World Super Series Finals crown in Dubai, will play fifth seeds Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han of Taiwan for the crown on Sunday.
The Taiwanese duo defeated Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani 17-21, 21-13, 21-11 to prevent an all-Malaysian men's doubles final.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, who have yet to secure any sponsorship since leaving the BA of Malaysia (BAM) last month, are hoping to attract a few big names following their good showing in Bangkok.
"We are very happy to reach our first final in our first tournament this season. Hopefully we can go on to win the title tomorrow (Sunday).
"We are still in talks with several sponsors. Hopefully we will be able to announce some good news by the end of this month," said V Shem.