PETALING JAYA: Men’s singles shuttler Leong Jun Hao suffered a huge setback ahead of his Asian Mixed Team Championships debut when he failed to clear the first qualifying round of the Thailand Masters.
World No. 66 Jun Hao was stunned 22-24, 19-21 by independent player and world No. 92 Yeoh Seng Zoe at the Nimibutr National Stadium in Bangkok yesterday.
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Jun Hao as it was his first tournament of the year.
“It was a really close match and I didn’t do well during the crucial points,” lamented Jun Hao.
The 23-year-old will now need to pick himself up for the Asian meet from Feb 14-19 in Dubai.
Meanwhile, Seng Zoe could not maintain his form when he went down 15-21, 21-18, 9-21 to Hong Kong’s world No. 95 Chan Yin Chak in the second qualifying round.
Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s singles is not over though as Ng Tze Yong and independent duo Cheam June Wei and Soong Joo Ven will open their campaigns today in the main draw.
World No. 29 Tze Yong will meet Brazil’s Ygor Coelho while June Wei (No. 44) has a tough task against homester Kantaphon Wangcharoen (No. 30).
Joo Ven has been drawn against Yin Chak.
In men’s doubles, independent pair Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong made it into the tournament proper with a 22-20, 21-13 win over India’s Hariharan Amsakarunan-Ruban Kumar.
Hang Yee-Eng Cheong next face Indonesia’s Sabar Karyaman-Moh Reza in the first round.
Two other independent pairs – Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Boon Xin Yuan-Wong Tien Ci – bowed out of the tournament after losing in the first round.
First qualifying round
Men’s singles: Yeoh Seng Zoe bt Leong Jun Hao 24-22, 21-19.
Men’s doubles: Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong bt Hariharan Amsakarunan-Ruban Kumar (Ind) 22-20, 21-13.
Second qualifying round
Men’s singles: Chan Yin Chak (Hkg) bt Yeoh Seng Zoe 21-15, 18-21, 21-9.
Men’s doubles: Pramudya KusumawardanaYeremia Rambitan (Ina) bt Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah 21-19, 19-21, 21-14; Su Ching-heng-Ye Hong-wei (Tpe) bt Boon Xin Yuan-Wong Tien Ci 23-21, 19-21, 21-15.