Making history: K. Srikanth will contest an all-Indian men’s singles final with B. Sai Praneeth. — AFP
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing have blown their chance of booking a place in the World Championships in Glasgow in August.
The eighth-seeded Kian Meng-Pei Jing lost 21-18, 11-21, 14-21 to unseeded Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the semi-finals of the Singapore Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday.
It was the Malaysians’ first appearance in the Superseries semi-finals.
They had beaten the Thai pair in the Thailand Open last year but yesterday it was the Thais who were on fire.
And Pei Jing was clearly disappointed.
“We did well to get off to a good start against the Thais, but they changed their strategy in the second game ... we also made mistakes,” said Pei Jing.
“We didn’t take our chances well today. I feel that I didn’t complement Kian Meng’s game today.
“We could’ve won some valuable ranking points if we had progressed. Instead, the Thai pair can overtake us now.”
In the Race to Glasgow world ranking, Kian Meng-Pei Jing are ranked 10th – one rung below seniors Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and one above the Thai pair.
If they had gone all the way and won in Singapore, Kian Meng-Pei Jing could have made it to the top eight in the standings and qualify for the World Championships.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) had ruled that except for the Olympic Games silver medallists – Lee Chong Wei (men’s singles), Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles) and Peng Soon-Liu Ying (mixed doubles) – all the other shuttlers must be ranked in the top eight when the world meet qualifying period ends on April 27.
BAM came out with their own ruling because the world meet clashes with the KL SEA Games.
Meanwhile, there were upsets in the men’s singles and doubles events in Singapore.
There will be a first-ever all-Indian men’s singles final in the Superseries after K. Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth won their semi-finals in convincing fashion.
In men’s doubles, veterans Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark ended the good run of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo with a sensational 11-21, 21-11, 21-14 semi-final win.
Indonesians Marcus-Kevin have won the All-England, Indian Open and Malaysian Open since the season began.