Mixed fortunes for Malaysia

Fired up: Loh Kean Yew of Singapore went down to Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles quarter-finals yesterday.— Reuters

SHUTTLER Lee Chong Wei marched into the men’s singles semi-finals but it’s all over for Soniia Cheah.

Chong Wei defeated Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew 21-13, 21-16 in the quarter-finals at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre yesterday.

But despite the smooth win, Chong Wei can’t help but envy the 20-year-old Kean Yew – a Penangite.

“Other countries have junior singles representatives here but I’m the only one for Malaysia here,” said Chong Wei.

“But it’s okay. Malaysia is not the only country trying to strengthen the men’s singles. China are struggling too.

“It’s a curve. We’ll struggle now but our juniors will step up in the future. I’ve the confidence.”

Chong Wei is ready to pass on the baton to younger players but not after accomplishing his mission in Gold Coast.

He will take on H.S. Prannoy of India today. If he wins, he faces the winner of the match between reigning world No. 1 K. Srikanth of India and England’s Rajiv Ouseph.

“Prannoy has beaten me twice. Srikanth has become the world No. 1 player for the first time.

“They do have the psychological edge but this is my last Games and I will go all out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Soniia has withdrawn from the Asian Badminton Championships in Wuhan, China, from April 24-29 after ending her campaign in the Games with defeats in the women’s singles and doubles.

“I’m worn out. I was slower today and unable to cope. It’s all over now. I’ll skip the Asian meet to focus on the Uber Cup Finals (in May in Bangkok),” said Soniia, who lost 21-12, 21-19 to defending champion Michelle Li of Canada.

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