Local shuttlers swarm through in Malaysian Open

Lee is aiming for a ninth Malaysian Open crown. — Reuters picLee is aiming for a ninth Malaysian Open crown. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — World number one shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei and eight other national players cruised into the second round of the 2013 Maybank Malaysian Open after defeating their respective opponents in the tournament held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil here yesterday.

The 30-year-old from Penang, gunning for his ninth Malaysian Open title, easily disposed off the 2010 world junior champion, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, 21-8 and 21-10 in just 27 minutes.

Lee is expected to face a tricky match as he is scheduled to take on Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the second round tomorrow.

The Thai shuttler, who is ranked 12th in the world ranking, earlier defeated Marc Zwiebler of Germany in thrilling three sets, 11-21,21-8 and 21-13.

National number two singles, Liew Daren, also booked his ticket after he registered an easy win against Ajay Jayaram of India with a 21-15 and 21-11 win.

He, however, goes straight into the quarter-final scheduled for tomorrow, after his opponent, Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, withdrew from the tournament due to injuries.

Taufik had earlier shocked third seed, Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam, in rubber sets, 10-21, 21-7 and 21-9.

World number two men’s pair, Koo Kien Kiat and Tan Boon Heong, also marched to the second round after defeating Indonesian pair, Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki/Hendra Aprida Gunawan, 21-15 and 21-15.

Gan Teik Chai and Ong Soon Hock also booked their ticket into the second round after defeating mixed pairs of England and Scotland, Marcus Ellis and Paul Van Rietvelde, with a 15-21, 21-17 and 22-20 win in the same categories.

Fifth seed, Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong, also eased into second round after they defeated the Danish pair of Christian John Skovgaard and Mads Pieler Kolding, 22-20, 21-19.

Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah also marched into the second round of the men’s doubles after they sinked another Danish pair, Rasmus Bonde and Mads Conrads-Petersen, 23-21, 16-21 and 21-11.

National women’s elite singles Sonia Cheah become the sole national representative in the second round of the tournament as another three shuttlers lost to their respective opponents.

Cheah beat Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi in thrilling three sets, 15-21, 21-19 and 21-18.

The national women doubles squad, on the other hand, had a disastrous outing as all eight pairs lost to their respective opponents.

In the mixed doubles categories, two national pairs marched into the second round of the tournament after defeating their opponents.

National number one pair, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, were given a tough fight before scoring victry in three sets against Thai pair, Sudket Prapakamol/Duanganong Aroonkesorn, 21-8, 15-21, 23-21. Tan Aik Quan and Lai Pei Jing also scored victory after defeating Thitipong Lapoe/Peeraya Munkitamorn of Thailand, 21-11, 17-21 and 21-12. — Bernama



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