Not one, not two, but three women’s pairs qualify for last eight

PETALING JAYA: It’s a rare sight but Malaysia will have three women’s doubles in the quarter-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open.

Yesterday, the women’s doubles made it a remarkable day for Malaysia when Lee Meng Yean-Chow Mei Kuan, Pearly Yap-M. Thinaah and Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen marched into the last eight at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

And the good news is that Malaysia is assured of a semi-final ticket as Meng Yean-Mei Kuan will take on Pearly-Thinaah in the last eight today.

National No. 1 Meng Yean-Mei Kuan did not face much difficulties in defeating Setyana Mapasa-Gronya Somerville of Australia 21-17,21-15 but Pearly-Thinaah faced some resistance en route to beating Vimala Heriau-Margot Lambert of France 19-21,21-16,21-9.

It was indeed a fine showing by Pearly-Thinaah as they kept their momentum going a day after stunning sixth seeds Chang Ye-na-Kim Hye-rin of South Korea in the first round.

Vivian-Cheng Wen had to dig deep into their reserves to beat Emilie Lefel-Anne Tran of France 19-21,21-17,21-12 to set up a tough meeting against third seeds Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan of South Korea next.

Vivian can’t hide her excitement after three pairs made it to the last eight.

“I’ve been playing for the national team for so long and I’ve never seen three pairs in the quarter-finals of an Open tournament, ” said Vivian.

“Although Japan and China did not send their players but I’m proud that at least, we managed to take the opportunity well here.

“Pearly and Thinaah’s upset win against the South Koreans had motivated the team, ” she added.

Vivian’s younger brother Hoo Pang Ron also performed above expectations when he and Cheah Yee See made it to the quarter-finals after sending Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrueof France packing with a 21-14,21-16 win.

They take on Hafiz Faisal-Gloria Emanuelle of Indonesia next.

Pang Ron-Yee See will be joined by the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying. Fifth seeds Peng Soon-Liu Ying defeated Adnan Maulana-Mychelle Crhystine of Indonesia 21-18,21-15 to set up a meeting against Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa of India.

Malaysia failed to make it a triple joy in the mixed doubles when Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie went down 12-21,19-21 to top seeds Dechapol Puavanukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

Meanwhile, S. Kisona also lost 10-21,12-21 to P.V. Sindhu of India.

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