SINGAPORE: Except for the men's doubles pair of Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, it was a total eclipse for the other Malaysian shuttlers on the second day of the US$170,000 Yonex-Sunrise Singapore Open at the Indoor Stadium here yesterday.
Wong Choong Hann and Lee Tsuen Seng went out without much of a fight against Chinese opponents in the third round of the men's singles on a day which saw world champion Xia Xuanze conceding a walkover because of a calf injury he suffered during his second round win over Malaysian veteran Ong Ewe Hock.
Choong Hann, who was beaten by China's Xuanze in the World Championships final in Birmingham two weeks ago, crashed to a 2-15, 8-15 defeat by Bao Chunlai in only 35 minutes.
Tsuen Seng gave some resistance against Chen Yu in the first game, losing 13-15. But he surrendered the match easily with a 4-15 second-game defeat.
The only bright spark came from Tan Fook-Wan Wah, who beat Denmark's Michael Lamp-Mathias Boe 15-7, 15-6 to set up a quarter-finals match today against England's Indonesia-born Eng Hian-Flandy Limpele.
The top Malaysian pair of Chew Choon Eng-Chan Chong Ming fell to a narrow second round defeat by the seasoned English pair of Nathan Robertson-Anthony Clark. They lost 13-15, 14-17.
Choong Hann was very disappointed that his form had taken a dive following the high in the World Championships.
“I need to recharge my game after hitting peak at the recent World Championships. I had hoped to reach my target of making it to at least the semi-finals,” he said.
“There was no power in my game. There is some soreness in my muscles. This could be due the lack of weight training since I returned from Birmingham.
“I only had two weight-training sessions. In the match against Chunlai, I had to use more leg power to cover.
“Even when I was in a position to smash, I had no power. I need to recover and go back to my normal training to prepare for the Indonesian Open (in Batam next week).”
Choong Hann's score in matches against Chunlai now stands at 2-2. He was also beaten by the Chinese in the Danish Open in 2001. His two victories over Chunlai were recorded in Singapore in 2001 and last year.
Tsuen Seng, who had beaten Chen Yu twice before in the Korean Open last year and Dutch Open in 2001, was a spent force in the second game against the Chinese.
Malaysia's campaign in the women's doubles also came to an end with the exit of Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui. They were beaten 10-15, 8-15 by the Dutch pair of Mia Audina-Lotte Bruil in the second round.