Soon Huat-Shevon fall in the semis in Birmingham

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It was a hurdle too high for Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in semi-finals in the USD1 million Yonex All England Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.

The unseeded Malaysians came unstuck against World No 3 and defending champions Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino carved out a 21-16, 21-13 win in 37 minutes. The Japanese are coach by Malaysia’s former mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan.

Despite the defeat Soon Huat-Shevon made many sit up and take note them and it is certainly not the last of them in international tournaments
as they scalped some of the big names including second seeds Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China in the quarter-finals.

“We lost to the Japanese because this is the first time we played them. We lost but it is an experience that will stand in good stead for us in future tournaments. What cost us the match is that we were not familiar with their game,” said Shevon after the match.

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles world No 1 and top seed Kento Momota of Japan marched into his first All England final as he brushed aside Hong Kong China’s Angus Ng Ka Long 21-19, 21-11 in 54 minutes.

In the women’s singles, two-time defending champion Tai Tze Ying of Chinese Taipei stayed on course for a hat-trick of titles when she slew Japan’s number two seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-13, 10-21, 21-8 in 47 minutes. The match was a repeat of last year’s All England final.

The first session of quarter-final matches also saw Indonesian veterans and two-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan book their place in final upset Japan’s third seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 21-19, 21-16 and stretch their head to head count to 3-1.

World champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Naghara seeded third, beat compatriots Koharu Yonemoto-Shiho Tanaka 21-11, 21-12 in 52 minutes.  RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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