KUALA LUMPUR: Former men’s singles national champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun will be the high-profile absentee in the Perak Open at Stadium Indera Mulia in Ipoh from Oct 7-12.
The 23-year-old independent shuttler, who won the national title in 2012, underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon, which he suffered during the semi-final match against Flemming Quach of Denmark in the Slovenia International in May.
Ramdan is still undergoing rehabilitation.
Without world No. 74 Ramdan, it will now be up to three prominent professional shuttlers – Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Chan Kwong Beng – to ruffle the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players in the opening leg of the National Circuit.
In the draw released on Friday, fourth seed Zulfadli, who did well to reach the semi-finals of the Indonesian Masters last month, is in the same half as second seed Liew Daren and four back-up players – Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Soong Joo Ven, Soo Teck Zhi and Goh Giap Chin.
Arif and Kwong Beng are in the top half with top seed and reigning national champion Chong Wei Feng, Tan Kian Meng, Lim Chi Wing, Cheam June Wei, Goh Soon Huat, Cheam June Wei and Chong Yee Han.
The world No. 58 Arif has enjoyed a good run this year too when he reached the semi-finals of the New Zealand Open Grand Prix and the quarter-finals of the Vietnam Open Grand Prix Gold.
Former international Kwong Beng’s best results this year were reaching the quarter-finals of the Vietnam Open Grand Prix Gold and the French International.
World No. 1 and 10-time national champion Lee Chong Wei stopped competing in local tournaments since 2012 to allow others to prove their mettle.
In men’s doubles, the competition will be intense with the participation of all the top players.
Reigning Commonwealth Games champions Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem are seeded fourth and are in the top half with top seeds Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi.
Both pairs, however, must keep an eye on independent shuttlers Mak Hee Chun-Tan Bin Shen.
In the lower half, the battle for supremacy will be among second seeds and former internationals Jagdish Singh-Roni Tan Wee Long and BAM pairs – Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How, Chan Peng Soon-Teo Kok Siang, Lim Khim Wah-Ow Yao Han and Darren Isaac-Woon Man Chun.
Boon Heong’s participation will depend on his condition. He had withdrawn from the ongoing Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, with a muscle tear on his right thigh.
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