* SEA Games champion Wei Feng suffers another first round defeat
* Iskandar Zulkarnain stuns Sho Sasaki
* Daren Liew no match for Indonesia’s Dionysius
* Chong Wei clears first hurdle with ease
* Jing Yee and Lyddia Cheah fail to get into the main draw in women’s singles
SEA Games gold medallist Chon Wei Feng suffered another first round defeat when he lost to Taiwan’s Lu Chia Hung 17-21, 7-21 in 36 minutes in the USD200,000 Yonex Taiwan Open Grand Prix Gold at the Taipei Arena on Wednesday.
It was his second first round defeat after losing to Denmark’s Christian Lind Thomsen 21-15, 22-20 in the opening round in the Canada Open last month. His defeat in Taipei certainly does not augur well for the Malaysian, currently ranked No 41 in the world.
Amid the disappointing performance by Wei Feng there was some cheer when World No 104 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin stunned Word No 25 Sho Sasaki of Japan after a 68 minute battle to prevail 21-15, 17-21, 21-16 to advance to the second round.
Iskandar, however, faces a tough match against China’s Wang Zhengming (seeded sixth) who beat Eetu Heino of Finland 22-20, 14-21, 21-11 in his first round match.
Daren Liew, making a comeback to international competitions after a two-month layoff due to illness was also on the losing end in his match against Indonesia’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka. Ranked 31 in the world, the Indonesian took 35 minutes to defeat the Malaysian (World No 92) 21-11, 21-16.
Former World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who is unseeded in Taiwan, continued his winning ways since coming back from a eight-month ban for a doping scandal, took only 20 minutes to demolish Korea’s Kim Doon-hoon with a 21-10, 21-7 to advance.
The 33-year-old Chong Wei, who won the US Open and the Canada Open last month, has moved up to No 65 in the world from an all-time low of 180 after his victories in New York and Calgary. Chong Wei will face Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the second round.
Tommy, son of former Indonesian ace Icuk Sugiarto and seeded No 10, won his first round match against Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long, the Canada Open runners-up, 21-8, 21-16.
Other Malaysians who fell by the wayside in the first round were former All-England champion Hafiz Hashim who lost to Korea’s Jeon Hyeok-jin 14-21, 21-14, 21-10, Goh Soon Huat who gave China’s World No 1 and top seed Chen Long a run for his money in the first set before losing 21-23. Chen Long stamped his class in the second set to win 21-11 and take the match in 53 minutes.
Chong Wei chasing his Olympic dreams, wants to do well in the Taiwan Open and has set his sights on playing in the Super Series events in Japan (Sept 8-13) and Korea (Sept 15-20. More importantly Chong Wei wants to do well in Taiwan as part of his preparations for next month’s World Championships in Jakarta.
No Malaysians will feature in the women’s singles main draw after Tee Jing Yi and Lyddia Cheah were both eliminated in the qualifying rounds.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS (Malaysians only)
Lee Chong Wei beat Kim Dong-hoon (Kor) 21-10, 21-7
Jeon Hyeok-jin (Kor) beat Hafiz Hashim 14-21, 21-14, 21-10
Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (Ina) beat Daren Liew 21-11, 21-16
Lu Chia Hing (Tpe) beat Chong Wei Feng 21-17, 21-7
Chen Long (Chn) beat Goh Soon Huat 23-21, 21-11
Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin beat Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-15, 17-21, 21-16
Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) Tan Chun Seang 21-18, 21-14