JAKARTA: It was a day of joy and heartbreak for Malaysia in the mixed doubles at the World Championships.
Veterans Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were in their element as they sent ninth seeds Reginald Lee Chun Hei-Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong packing with a thrilling 17-21, 21-17, 21-18 win to reach the third round.
Debutants Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan almost made it a double for Malaysia before going down 21-18, 18-21, 20-22 to 10th seeds Riky Widianto-Puspita Richi Dili of Indonesia in a pulsating 75-minute second-round clash.
Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing also failed to make the cut, losing 14-21, 7-21 to Lu Kai-Huang Yagiong of China.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will next face 2013 world champions Ahmad Tontowi-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals.
The Malaysians were early casualties in their previous four outings.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying failed to qualify but were invited to the championships following the withdrawal of Guatemala’s Solis Jonathan-Nikte Alejandra Sotomayor.
“Liu Ying played quite well today and I did my part. We are getting more stable,” said Peng Soon.
“We were lucky to make it to this year’s world meet as replacements. Our good run so far will surely help us gain some points for next year’s Olympics.
“Ahmad-Lilyana are the home favourites. The only advantage we have is the pressure is not on us,” added Peng Soon.
While Peng Soon-Liu Ying were overjoyed to reach the last 16, Fai Yin-Mei Kuan, who were also last-minute replacements, were clearly disappointed to blow their good chance to progress.
Fai Yin-Mei Kuan showed nerves of steel to take the opening game. They even held the lead 17-14 and 20-19 in the decider, but it was not to be.
“We could have won it. I couldn’t control my emotions towards the end,” said a dejected Fai Yin.