It was a bad, bad day for Malaysian shuttlers, especially in the men’s doubles when none of the four pairs in contention failed to make the quarter-finals after the second round matches in the USD700,000 Malaysia Open in Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.
The day started on a bad note for the Malaysians when the mixed doubles pair of Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie was forced to concede a walkover to Thailand’s World No 4 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai when Soon Huat fell ill during a training session in the morning.
It seemed to have a domino effect on the men’s doubles pairs when the second round matches began and all the four Malaysian pairs fell by the wayside in disappointing fashion.
All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik were blown away in straight games 21-9, 21-16 by Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi in under 30 minutes.
Earlier, former World No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong went out in 47 minutes after a promising start against No 3 seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda who won 10-21, 21-13, 21-9.
Giant killers, professionals Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen fell 18-21, 12-21 to newly crowned All-England champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in 24 minutes. In the first round, Kah Ming-Juan Shen had beaten World No 11 He Jiting-Tan Qiang of China 21-18, 24-22.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi fought till the end but could not stop China’s No 7 seeds Hai Chengkai-Zhou Haodong from snatching a 21-17, 21-19 win in 33 minutes.
Malaysia’s hope in the women’s singles disappeared when world junior champion Goh Jin Wei went out after a three-game battle against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong. The Thai won the 56-minute match 21-16, 12-21, 21-10.
Amid the gloom, there was some cheer in the mixed doubles with fifth seeds Chan Peng-Soon-Goh Liu Ying advancing to the last eight with dominating performance against Indonesia’s new pair Ricky Karandasuwardi-Pia Zabediah Bernadet in their 21-13, 21-14 win in 31 minutes.
The Rio Olympics silver medallists next face second seeds Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping – 21-12, 21-6 winners over Indonesians Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas Mentari.
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing had to come-from-behind to beat India’s Pranaav Jerry Chopra-N. Sikki Reddy 15-21, 21-17, 21-13 in 56 minutes. For a place in the last four, the Malaysians face Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Winny Oktavina Kandow who ousted compatriots and eighth seeds Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja 19-21, 21-18, 21-19. 
Meanwhile, Chinese legend Lin Dan kept his hopes alive in the men’s singles with a 25-23, 21-8 win over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon. He was joined by his compatriot and Olympics champion Chen Long who stopped another Thai opponent Kantaphon Wangcharoen 22-20, 21-13.
Number two seed Shi Yuqi joined his two illustrious teammates with a 21-18, 21-9 win over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen. Also in the last eight is India’s K. Srikanth – a 21-11, 21-15 winner over Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradap.
In the women’s singles, top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei cruised into the quarter-finals with a 21-16, 21-14 win over Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan while Korea’s Sung Ji-Hyun upset fifth-seeded P.V. Sindhu of India 21-18, 21-7.
Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon made the last eight after a three-game 23-25, 21-14, 21-16 win over China-born Zhang Beiwen of the United States. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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