GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia’s Uber Cup shuttlers did not have a glorious day at the Malaysian Masters, but coach Lim Pek Siah still found a reason to smile.
She was pleased with the promising performance by Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean despite their first-round exit at the Spice Arena in Relau, Penang, on Wednesday.
The duo, playing in their first tournament together after two years, nearly gave 2010 Commonwealth Games champions Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa of India a rude shock before going down 14-21, 21-14, 23-25 in 54 minutes.
“They showed good fighting spirit ... that’s what matters most. It’s a good start for them ... especially as this is only their first tournament together after two years,” said Pek Siah.
“They could have won if not for those simple mistakes at the end ... those were nerves. Their attacking skills need to be polished, but they do have potential.”
Mei Kuan-Meng Yean, the 2012 World Junior Championships bronze medallists, are two of the 10 players selected for the Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad, India, from Feb 15-21. The Asia Team meet serves as a qualifier for the Finals in Kunshan, China, from May 15-22.
The others in the Uber Cup team are Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho, Tee Jing Yi, Ho Yen Mei, Lee Ying Ying and Goh Jin Wei.
It was also a bad day at the office for Singapore SEA Games champions Amelia-Fie Cho, who lost 9-21, 13-21 to Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao of Japan in the first round of the women’s doubles.
“Fie Cho is just recovering from an eye infection ... it affected her performance. In training they are superb, but struggle in matches ... we will help them to overcome this,” said Pek Siah.
The other women shuttlers who also crashed out were Goh Yea Ching-Peck Yen Wei, Joyce Choong Wai Chi-Yap Cheng Wen and singles players Lim Yin Fun, Lim Chiew Sien and Tee Jing Yi.
Only doubles pair Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo made it to the second round after they beat Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara of Japan 21-13, 21-18.