Mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie failed to make the final in the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open going down in straight games 14-21, 18-21 to China’s He Jiting-Du Yue at the Coliseum on Saturday.
The defeat came in the wake of their impressive 16-21, 23-21, 21-12 win over Thailand’s third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the quarter-finals. Ranked No 8 in the world the Malaysians caved in against the Chinese onslaught.
The Chinese pair have now won the four of their six meetings in the head to head count. Still it is encouraging to note that their Thai rivals will not have it easy at coming SEA Games in the Philippines although Dechapol-Sapsiree won’t be at the biennial games.
Soon Huat-Shevon is Malaysia’s medal prospects in the SEA Games where Malaysia has lowered its initial two-gold medal target following the withdrawal of world junior champion Goh Jin Wei after undergoing surgery.
Meanwhile, the men’s singles final be between local hope Lee Cheuk Yiu who continued his fairy tale run by knocking out India’s former world No 1 K. Srikanth 21-9, 25-23. Cheuk Yiu was promoted to the main draw from the qualifying rounds.
He will play Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting who beat compatriot and Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in an 81-minute thriller – prevailing 22-20, 13-21, 21-18.
The women’s singles final is between Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and China’s Chen Yufei. Intanon’, seeded No 5, ousted Japan’s second-seeded Akane Yamaguchi 21-23, 21-15, 21-12 while Yufei overcame Zhang Beiwen of the United States 21-18, 14-21, 21-15. RIZAL ABDULLAH