Malaysia will have two pairs each in the mixed doubles and men’s doubles and one pair in the women’s doubles feature in the quarter-finals in the USD170,000 Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters on Friday.
However, it was a total eclipse for Malaysia in both the men’s and women’s singles at the Huamark Indoor Stadium when all lost their respective second-round matches on Thursday. Most disappointing was Lee Zii Jia’s exit when the top-ranked Malaysian, No 13 in the world lost to 35th ranked Heo Kwang Hee of Korea.
A semi-finalist at the Malaysia Masters, the 21-year-old Zii Jia was a first-round casualty in the Indonesia Masters. In Bangkok, he cleared the first hurdle with a 21-16, 21-15 win over India’s Sameer Verma.
Zii Jia, who is Malaysia’s hope in the Tokyo Olympics, fell to a 19-21, 21-15, 16-21 defeat to his Korean opponent in a 51-minute match. Professionals Soong Joo Ven and Liew Daren also failed to make the quarter-finals. Joo Ven went down to Thailand’s junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn 11-21, 21-18, 10-21 while Daren was beaten 15-21, 18-21 to China’s second seed Shi Yuqi.
National mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jin and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie made the last eight. Soon Huat-Shevon, the third seeds, came back from a game down to beat Yang Po Hsuan-Hu Ling Fang of Chinese Taipei 17-21, 21-9, 21-12 and will take on Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich next.
No 8 seeds Kian Meng-Pei Jing outplayed Indonesian youngsters Dejan Ferdinansyah-Serena Kani 21-15, 21-13. They will play Denmark’s Niclas Nohr-Sara Thygesen. 
In the women’s singles, Soniia Cheah – ranked No 31 – battled for 57 minutes but failed to stop China’s Qi Xue Fei, who is ranked 10 rungs below, from winning 21-19, 15-2, 21-16. 
National discards Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi marched into the quarter-finals with a 19-21, 23-21, 21-19 win over China’s Ou Xuan Yu-Zhang Nan to earn a quarter-final clash against Japan’s No 7 seeds Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.
Joining them is Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong. The fourth seeds defeated Liao Min Chun-Su Ching Heng of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 21-15. Their next hurdle is Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge of England.
After the first round defeat of Malaysia’s top-ranked pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, there was hope on Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani but they went out fighting to Lee Jhe Huei-Yang Po Hsuan of Chinese Taipei in three-games 21-19, 19-21, 21-16.
Vivian Hoo-Yap Chen Wen made the last eight with a 21-14, 21-11 win over Hong Kong’s Ng Tsz Yau-Yuen Sin Ying in 32 minutes and will meet Koreans Baek Ha Na-Jung Kyung Eun for a place in the semi-finals. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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