Unseeded professional Daren Liew came out with another stunning performance to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals in the World Championships in Nanjing, China when he scalped India’s fifth seed K. Srikanth in straight games in a third-round match.
The 30-year-old Malaysian upset the Indian ace 21-18, 21-18 in 41 minutes to earn a quarter-final tie against Japan’s Kenta Tsuneyama who downed Frenchman Brice Leverdez 21-17, 21-15.
“Since turning professional this is my best performance and I will go all out to reach the semi-finals or even the final,” said Daren.
If Daren delighted in the men’s singles youngsters Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik signaled their arrival on the big stage with another display of attacking badminton to pack off Denmark’s eighth seeds, the experienced Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
The Malaysians have been going from strength to strength in Nanjing despite earning a late call-up for the world meet and their 21-18, 21-16 win in 42 minutes over the Danes has added to their confidence.
“Do not rule us out of the semi-finals. We are not only confident but we have taken our game to a higher level playing in this major tournament after our win over the top-10 ranked pair,” said Aaron after the win.
And interestingly the young Malaysians will be up against China’s fourth seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen who denied Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong an all-Malaysia quarter-final with a three-game 16-21, 21-15, 22-20 win in 62 minutes.
Even the Danes were left in awe with the Malaysians’ game.
“They played well and deserve to win,” said Astrup after the match.
Rio Olympics silver medallist Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu, seeded eighth, made the mixed doubles quarter-finals after prevailing 21-16, 17-21, 21-18 in a marathon 71-minute battle over England’s No 11 seeds Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith.
“I hope the arrival of my third baby will bring me luck…probably win the world title,” Peng Soon said in a television interview after the match. Peng Soon’s wife Cham May May delivered the couple’s third child, Julian, a baby boy recent.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who finished runners-up in the recent Indonesia Open, will battle Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong for a place in the semi-finals. The third seeds beat Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-15,
Other Malaysian mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie fell in the third round to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 20-22, 21-14, 21-16 in 59 minutes.
Meanwhile, it was the end for Goh Jin Wei in the women’s singles. The former world junior fell to defending champion Nozomi Okuhara 23-21, 21-13 in 46 minutes.
“I did not play well today (against Okuhara) and I was rather hasty in going for the shots,” said Jin Wei.
Also out are women’s doubles Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean. The 13th seeded Malaysians lost 18-21, 13-21 to Indonesia’s fifth seeds Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu. RIZAL ABDULLAH