Birmingham: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, and the Rio Olympic Chen Long have advanced to the second round of the All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Wednesday.
The No. 2 seed Lee registered a harder than expected victory over Brazilian player Ygor Coelho, beating the unseeded 21-15, 21-17 in 37 minutes. Lee who is eyeing for his fifth All England title, will play Lee Dong Keun of Korea in the second round. The Korean eke out a 13-21, 21-10, 21-17 over Jan Jorgensen of Denmark in the opener.
Lin Dan didn’t face many problems against Denmark’s unseeded Hans-kristian Solberg Vittinghus when the No. 6 seed Lin saw off Vittinghus 21-19, 21-16 to set up a second-round meeting with Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan.
Men’s singles No. 4 seed Chen Long also eased past teammate Qiao Bin 21-13, 21-11 to take on Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand on Thursday.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s unseeded pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong produced a brilliant performance to upset No. 5 seed Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan 21-13, 21-17. The Rio Olympic silver medalists will take on Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge of England next.
Malaysia’s another unseeded pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi saved two match points, coming back from 19-20, 20-21 to beat last week’s German Open runners-up Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-16, 16-21, 23-21. However, tough test awaiting Ong/Teo in the second round because they are going to face No. 1 seed Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, reigning World Champions and No. 4 seeds Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan were stunned by Liao Min Chun/Su Ching Heng of Taiwan, bowing out 20-22, 20-22.
The mixed doubles competition saw Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying forced the decider by fighting back from 18-20 in the second set to win the second set 24-22. Chan/Goh eventually survived their opener by outlasting Sam Magee-Chloe Magee of Ireland 18-21, 24-22, 21-15 in 68 minutes. Chan/Goh are set to face No. 8 seeds Zhang Nan/Li Yinhui of China in the second round.
Last week’s German Open mixed doubles champions Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai couldn’t carry their momentum to Birmingham by going down to No. 7 seeds Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock of England 14-21, 15-21. Another Malaysian mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing also fizzled out in the first round, losing to Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia 18-21, 11-21.