PETALING JAYA: Club shuttlers Mohd Roslin Hashim and Joanne Quay (pic) justified their selections in the squad for the Doha Asian Games with flying starts in the Japan Open at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo yesterday.
Nusa Mahsuri’s Roslin, who is currently attached to the Vendsyssyl Badminton Club in Denmark, knocked out two Chinese players to get into the third round of the US$180,000 tournament.
In the first round, the unseeded veteran defeated China’s newcomer Qui Yanbo 21-7, 21-12. It was his victory in the second round that was impressive. He sent the crafty ninth-16th seed Chen Yu packing, winning convincingly at 21-11, 21-9.
Roslin, who won the Japan Open in 2001, has certainly made a great comeback to form following a slump. He also made a sensational run in the Korean Open this year to finish as the runner-up to China’s Bao Chunlai.
He will take on Thailand’s top player Boonsak Ponsana for a place in the quarter-finals.
The top two national players – Lee Chong Wei and Mohd Hafiz Hashim – also made it through to the third round.
Second seed Chong Wei, who received a first round bye, defeated three-time Asian champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-12, 21-18 for a third round match against England’s Andrew Smith.
Hafiz defeated Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-12, 21-12 and has a tricky next match against China’s promising youngster Zhu Weilun.
It was the end of the road for Yeoh Kay Bin. He went down to a 21-15, 9-21, 21-23 defeat by Thailand’s Poompat Sapkulchananart in the second round.
Among the top guns who made it to the third round of the men’s singles were world champion Lin Dan and Chen Hong of China, Dane Peter Gade-Christensen and Indonesian Taufik Hidayat.
Taufik went the distance to beat Chunlai, the runner-up in the World Championships, 21-12, 12-21, 21-19.
Former national women’s doubles player Joanne of the Kuala Lumpur Racket Club (KLRC), who was named in the Asiad squad in a doubles partnership with Lim Pek Siah, also performed above expectations yesterday.
She teamed up with New Zealand’s Daniel Shirley in the mixed doubles to chalk up the biggest upset of the day’s play – knocking out world number five Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark. The unseeded scratch pair won 21-18, 21-18 and will play against South Koreans Hwang Ji-ma-Ha Jung-eun today.
National chief coach Yap Kim Hock was pleased with the showing of the Malaysian team, especially the club players.
“Roslin is in very good form. He has certainly justified his inclusion in the team for the Asian Games,” said Kim Hock in a telephone interview from Tokyo.
“Joanne partnered a New Zealander in the mixed doubles. But they combined well to eliminate a fancied pair. She is on the right track for the Asiad.”
At the Asiad in December, Joanne will play in the mixed doubles partnering Roslin.
Kim Hock said the real battle for the men’s doubles pairs of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Gan Teik Chai, who cleared their first round matches, would begin today.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will take on South Koreans Lee Jae-jin-Ji-man while Zakry-Teik Chai will play against Singapore’s Hendri Saputra-Hendra Wijaya.
JAPAN OPEN RESULTS
* Matches involving Malaysians
First round: Yeoh Kay Bin bt Yuichi Ikeda (Jpn) 22-20, 10-21, 21-18; Pei Wee Chung lost to Shinya Ohtsuka (Jpn) 16-21, 10-21; Roslin Hashim bt Qiu Yanbo (Chn) 21-7, 21-12.
Second round: Mohd Hafiz Hashim bt Chan Yan Kit (Hkg) 21-12, 21-12; Yeoh Kay Bin lost to Poompat Sapkulchananart (Tha) 21-15, 9-21, 21-23; Roslin bt Chen Yu (Chn) 21-11, 21-9; Lee Chong Wei bt Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) 21-12, 21-18.