Mixed fortunes for Malaysians in All England

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Professional Liew Daren made a winning start to his Yonex All England Championships with a 21-13, 21-17 win over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon but a tougher hurdle awaits him in Birmingham.
The Malaysian is Malaysia’s hope in the men’s singles without Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei in the fray in the oldest badminton tournament in the world. Chong Wei, the 100PLUS Ambassador is still recovering his nose cancer.
Daren faces defending champion and second seed Shi Yuqi for a place in the quarter-finals. The former Thomas Cupper, however, did beat the Chinese ace in the quarter-finals in the Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur in January for a psychological advantage.
Shi Yuqi outplayed Indonesia Masters winner Anders Antonsen of Denmark in straight games 21-17, 21-16 in his first round encounter.
Two Malaysian pairs also advanced to the second round in the men’s doubles after coming through three games against their respective opponents.
Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong defeated Indonesia’s Berry Agriawan-Hardianto Hardianto 21-14, 17-21, 21-17 while debutants Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik came back from a game down to prevail 12-21, 21-16, 21-16 in a 49-minute encounter.
V Shem-Wee Kiong next meets Japan’s number two seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe. The German Open champions stopped another Malaysian pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi but had to go through the distance before winning 21-13, 15-21, 21-15. 
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles, Malaysia’s number one pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying battled into the second round after tough fight against in their 19-21, 21-10, 22-20 win over Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Wakana Nagahara.
They are up against Indonesian scratch pair Tontowi Ahmad -Winny Oktavina Kandow. Tontowi won the Rio Olympics silver medal with Liliyana Natsir who retired early this year.
Also through are Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie who beat Indonesians Ronald Ronald-Annisa Saufika 21-16, 21-17 and will meet home favorites, Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith.
However, it was the end of the road for two other mixed doubles pairs Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing who lost to China’s Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping 21-15, 16-21, 12-21 while Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei fell 16-21, 18-21 to England’s husband and wife team Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock.
Malaysia’s challenge in the women’s singles ended in the first round when Goh Jin Wei and Soniia Cheah lost. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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