KUALA LUMPUR: The old and young fell flat as Malaysia got off to a slow start on the first day of the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China.
Seasoned campaigners Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and reigning SEA Games champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik were beaten in the opening group matches of their respective events at the Tianhe Gymnasium yesterday.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying were out of sorts as they went down 11-21,14-21 to Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China.
It was their sixth defeat to the world No. 2 in eight meetings.
The Malaysians take on Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the second group match today but they need to win to keep alive the hope of reaching the semi-finals.
Only the top two pairs in the group advance to the knockout stage.
The Thais were in their element yesterday when they defeated South Korea’s Seo Seung-jae-Cha Yu-jung 21-16,21-19 in another group match.
Liu Ying, who arrived here on the tail of recovering from an ankle injury, said it was their first day blues.
“I’m fine, the injury is not bothering me but I was not in a good condition today, ” said Liu Ying, who aims to shrug off the slow start.
World No. 6 Peng Soon-Liu Ying’s best outing in the Finals was a semi-final finish at the 2013 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
In the men’s doubles, it was apparent that Aaron-Wooi Yik were struggling to settle down as they went down 19-21,16-21 to reigning world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in Group B in just 28 minutes.
Aaron-Wooi Yik, who arrived on the eve of the tournament after winning the SEA Games gold in the Philippines, face Taiwanese Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin next. Lee Yang-Chi-lin defeated their teammates Lu Ching-yao-Yang Po-han 21-16,21-12.
The Malaysians have lost to the world No. 7 Lee Yang-Chi-lin in their only meeting at the Korean Masters last month in a match that went down to the wire and the former will be out for a revenge.
Group B: Chen Long (Chn) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21-17,10-21,21-17; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Anthony Ginting (Ina) 11-21,21-15,25-23.
Group A: Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn) bt Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura (Jpn) 21-18,21-13.
Group B: Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) bt Lu Ching-yao-Yang Po-han (Tpe) 21-16,21-12; Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) 21-19,21-16.
Group B: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-4,21-16.
Group B: Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) bt Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) 18-21,21-17,21-18; Mayu Matsutomo-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonjai (Tha) 19-21,21-14,22-20.
Group A: Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yujung (Kor) 21-16,21-19; Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-11,21-14.
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