Liew Daren falls in the first round of the Asian Badminton Championships in South Korea on Wednesday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: New men’s doubles pair Low Juan Shen-Nelson Heg saved Malaysia the blushes at the Asian Badminton Championship (ABC) after their singles counterparts suffered a first-round wipeout in Gimcheon, South Korea.
Juan Shen-Nelson, who are only competing in their third tournament together, were in inspired mood as they came back from a game down to beat India’s Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy 16-21, 21-13, 22-20 yesterday.
It was a fantastic result for the world No. 213 pair against their world No. 45-ranked opponents.
There was more good news for Juan Shen-Nelson as they were gifted a free passage into the quarter-finals.
That’s because their initial second round opponents – top seeds Tsai Chia-hsin-Lee Sheng-mu of Taiwan – withdrew at the 11th hour.
“It was a tough match today but we’re very happy to win because this is the biggest tournament we are competing in so far,” said Juan Shen.
“This is only our third tournament together ... we made the semi-finals of the Vietnam International Challenge last month and this win is a good improvement.
“I think our partnership is looking good but there are still a lot of areas for us to improve. For a start, we still need to work on our understanding and rotation during matches.”
The pair will now face either China’s Shi Longfei-Chen Zhuofu or Vietnam’s Duong Bao Duc-Nguyen Hoang Nam in the last eight.
Another men’s doubles pair also made it past the first round when world No. 61 Teo Ee Yi-Chooi Kah Ming dumped Taiwan’s Liang Jui-wei-Liao Kuan-hao.
Ee Yi-Kah Ming, who have only be playing together since last September, won 19-21, 21-17, 22-20 and will go on to meet South Korea’s Shin Baek-cheol-Yoo Yeon-seong in the second round.
There was, however, no such cheer in the men’s singles.
Liew Daren, who has slipped to No. 63 from a high of No. 10 at one time, was well beaten by South Korea’s Lee Dong-keun, losing 22-24, 13-21.
Goh Soon Huat and Chong Yee Han fared no better, losing to India’s P. Kashyap and Japan’s Sho Sasaki in straight games respectively.
In other results, five-time world champion and two-time ABC winner Lin Dan continued his winning ways by thrashing India’s seventh-seeded K. Srikanth 21-7, 21-14.
It was also a day to forget for other seeded players as top seed Boonsak Ponsana (Thailand), third seed Nguyen Tien Minh (Vietnam), fourth seed Kento Momota (Japan), fifth seed Hu Yun (Hong Kong) and eighth seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand) all crashed out in the first round.
Second seed and home favourite Son Wan-ho sailed through after beating Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-13.