Wednesday, 11 June 2014 | MYT 10:55 PM
Wei Feng, V Shem-Boon Heong shock the seeds in Japan
World No.24 Chong Wei Feng delivered a stunning fightback to beat world No.7 Son Wan-ho of South Korea. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng and scratch pair Goh V Shem-Tan Boon Heong stole the thunder on a day of superb performances in the first round of the Japan Open at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
World No. 24 Wei Feng kept up his hot streak with a rousing fightback to beat sixth seed Son Wan-ho 15-21, 21-17, 21-15 while V Shem-Boon Heong served up a real stunner – dumping world No. 3 and home favourites Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa 21-13, 21-11.
The 27-year-old Wei Feng’s game was creditable as he trailed the Korean No. 1 9-12 in the second game and 8-11 in the decider.
It was just the kind of performance the Kedahan needed after a good showing at last month’s Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi, where he won five matches before being tamely beaten by Kento Momota as Malaysia lost 3-2 to Japan in the final.
“I struggled in the first game because I wasn’t familiar with my opponent. It took me some time to get used to his tactics,” said Wei Feng.
“In the third game, even though I was trailing, I gained the advantage after switching sides ... with the wind in my favour.
“I pressed home my advantage and I was very fortunate that he lost focus of his defensive play.”
Wei Feng’s reward for a superb performance is a clash against five-time world champion Lin Dan, a player he lost to in the World Championships last year, in the second round.
The 30-year-old Lin Dan, who is ranked 35th in the world and who had to come through the qualifiers, was too strong for compatriot Xue Song in the first round, winning 21-15, 21-18.
World No. 1 and defending champion Lee Chong Wei, meanwhile, brushed past Tawainese qualifier Shih Kuei-chun 21-15, 21-13 to set up a second round clash with Germany’s Marc Zwiebler.
But it was in the doubles that Malaysia rocked, thanks to V Shem-Boon Heong, who are playing in only their first tournament together.
There was more joy for Malaysia in the men’s doubles when world No. 7 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong also pulled through after edging Hong Kong’s Chan Yun Lung-Lee Chun Hei 12-21, 21-11, 24-22.
“We are still trying to adjust to one another as we did not play much together during the Thomas Cup. The slow shuttle did not help matters but I feel we’ll get better over time,” said Wee Kiong.
In other results, the women’s pair of Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei and the mixed doubles combination of Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing also made the second round.