THE attention is on the Malaysian men's shuttlers but the women are determined not to be outdone in their World Championships campaign at the Arrowhead Pond.
Singles player Wong Mew Choo was the first to turn the formbooks upside down, snuffing out the challenge of 15th seed Xing Aiying of Singapore in a first round match on Tuesday.
The unseeded Mew Choo came back from a 2-5 deficit in the first game to beat the 16-year-old Singaporean 11-8, 11-8 to advance to the second round.
The former national women's doubles pair of Lim Pek Siah-Chor Hooi Yee, who only received a last-minute invitation from the International Badminton Federation (IBF) to play in the championships, defied the odds to reach the third round.
The duo sent ninth seeds Joanne Wright-Ella Tripp of England packing, winning the second round match on Tuesday 15-12, 3-15, 15-6.
Seventh seeds Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty continued with their fine showing, edging Japan's Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna 12-15, 15-6, 15-9.
It is the first time that Malaysia have two women's doubles pairs in the last 16 of the world championships.
The 22-year-old Mew Choo, who only made a comeback to the national team this year after a seven-month layoff because of injury, relied on her experience to battle her way past her younger rival and aggressive opponent, who is currently the top ranked Singaporean.
“It was harder for me because the draught was making judgment (of the shuttle) more difficult. I wasn't sure whether to retrieve it or let it go on several occasions,” said the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games gold medallist.
Mew Choo was happy to have cleared the first hurdle.
“It is a good boost for me because I have never played against Aiying before. I will be better prepared if we are to meet in the SEA Games in Manila at the end of the year,” she said.
Mew Choo has a chance to go all the way to the last eight of the world meet for the first time now.
In the second round yesterday, Mew Choo played against Taiwanese Cheng Shao-chieh, a player she has beaten twice before.
If she advances, Mew Choo is likely to play against Juliane Schenk of Germany in the third round.
The German created a big upset in the first round, beating 2003 World Championships bronze medallist Zhou Mi of China 11-2, 11-9.
Pek Siah-Hooi Yee went to the rubber game to extend their stay in the competition.
Their coach, former national player Ong Beng Teong, said that he was confident that the duo would chalk up an upset win.
“They beat the English pair in the semi-finals of the Irish Open last year and I was confident that they would do it again once they settled down in the rubber game,” he said.
“I am very proud of them. They did not give up after losing the second game.”
Pek Siah-Hooi Yee, who were quarter-finalist at the 1997 championships in Glasgow, made the bid to match the achievement against sixth seeds T. Saralee-S. Chankrachangwong of Thailand yesterday.
Eei Hui-Pei Tty played against England's Juliane Schenk-Nicole Grenther yesterday for a place in the quarter-finals.