Mixed doubles Shevon Lai (left) and Goh Soon Huat

KUALA LUMPUR: To escape all that firecrackers bang during the Chinese New Year, shuttler Shevon Lai and her family had a quiet getaway among the lush green trees of Fraser Hill.

Now, a rejuvenated Shevon, who partners Goh Soon Huat in the mixed doubles, wants to come back with a bang — by getting into the world top 10, as the pressure builds up ahead of the Olympic qualifying period.

Hoping to make a stronger impression after the first two tournaments this year (Malaysia and Indonesia Masters), Shevon, said: “We’re definitely feeling the pressure because there’s only about two months to go before the Olympic qualifying period gets underway (May).

“However, I made a request to my mum to celebrate Chinese New Year on a quiet note, just us as a family somewhere far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

“It was really nice because as national players, our schedule is very hectic, for a change, we did not do what we usually do during Chinese New Year which can be tiring sometimes.

“I feel rejuvenated, so hopefully I can perform better now that my body feels good.”

The Malaysian World No 11 will compete in the National Championships in Perak on Feb 18-23 first before traveling to Europe for the German Open (Feb 26-March 3) and All England (March 6-10).

“We may have reached the quarter-finals in the first two tournaments this year, but that’s not good enough because last season we made it to the semi-finals,” said Shevon.

“We need to improve our game and build on our confidence. Once we’re good, we won’t need to worry about facing anyone. Our target is to try and be a top eight pair for better seeding in tournaments. This whole year will be us focusing on improving our ranking.”

Apart from Soon Huat-Shevon, the other national pairs who will be looking to come good are Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.

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