Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong gave their Tokyo Olympics campaign a shot in the arm when they reached the men’s doubles semi-finals in the USD150,000 New Zealand Open in Auckland.
In the quarter-finals, played at the Event Finda Stadium, the seventh seeds upset Japan’s fourth seeds Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-18, 22-24, 21-12 in 69 minutes to advance to the last four.
The Rio Olympics silver medal winners will face Indonesia’s All England champions and No 2 seeds, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan who also needed a three-game victory over fifth seeds Lee Yang-Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei, prevailing 18-21, 21-19, 21-14.
In an all-Malaysian mixed doubles quarter-final match professionals Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying kept their challenge alive when they downed Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-16, 21-11.
The second-seeded Malaysian next face Indonesian fourth seeds Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja for a place in the final. The Indonesians came off 21-15, 21-17 winners against Chang Tak Ching-Ng Wing Yung of Hong Kong China.
It was a Japanese hurdle too high for two other men’s doubles pairs in the last eight.
Newly crowned Asian champions Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe made short work of Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi with a 21-7,21-18 win while Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda defeated All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 17-21, 21-15, 21-10.
It was also the end of the road for number three seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in the mixed doubles – losing 14-21, 15-21 to Indonesia’s fifth seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti.
In the men’s singles, Lee Zii Jia’s run came to an abrupt end when the Malaysian lost to Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China in three games -21-17, 11-21, 21-19 in a 65-minute battle. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH