Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chong Wei Feng fights to survive

PETALING JAYA: World No. 12 Chong Wei Feng spared Malaysia the blushes with a hard-fought win over India’s R.M.V Gurusaidutt in the first round of the Singapore Open.
The 26-year-old Wei Feng had to dig deep into his reserves before notching a 15-21, 21-18, 21-9 win over world No. 23 Gurusaidutt.

The Kedahan started the match poorly, handing his opponent the advantage.
Wei Feng then recovered well to hold his nerves to take the second game 21-18 before stepping it up against the exhausted Gurusaidutt for victory and a place in the second round.

The reward for his steely determination is a clash against another rising Indian shuttler – B. Sai Praneeth, who knocked out second seed Hu Yun in the first round – for a place in the last eight.
But while Wei Feng was triumphant, the other Malaysian singles shuttlers were woeful and crashed out early.

World No. 13 Daren failed to lift his game against eighth seed Wang Zhengming of China, losing 15-21, 18-21 while Mohd Arif Abdul Latif blew a one-game lead to lose 21-17, 9-21, 12-21 to England’s Rajiv Ouseph.

Independent shuttlers – former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli and Tan Chun Seang – also fared badly, losing to Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana and Japan’s Kento Momota respectively.
In the men’s doubles, eighth seeds Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah were outclassed by the in-form Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.

Ahsan-Setiawan, boosted by winning the Indonesian Open last week, easily won 21-19, 21-12 to set up a second round clash against Taiwan’s Lee Sheng Mu-Tsai Chia Hsin.
“V Shem-Khim Wah played well in the first game and were excellent at mid-courts. They were leading all the way but ran out of luck at the end ... often hitting the net,” explained national doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her.

“Ahsan-Setiawan then upped the pace in the second game and controlled it right from the start.
“It’s disappointing but they tried their best. Now, I just have to properly prepare them for the World Championships (in August).”

In the women’s singles, youngster Sonia Cheah’s inexperience saw her throw away a one-game lead to lose 21-17, 9-21, 17-21 to world No. 6 Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea.

Women’s doubles shuttler Lim Yin Loo, however, brought joy to the Malaysian camp with two wins.
First, she partnered Ong Jian Guo for a confident victory over South Koreans Kang Ji-wook-Shin Seung-chan in the mixed doubles before partnering Lee Meng Yean to beat India’s Aparna Balan-N. Siki Reddy 18-21, 21-18, 21-6 in the women’s doubles.

The Star

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