Nanjing: World No. 39 men’s singles player Daren Liew, and World No. 35 men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, surprised the badminton fans in Nanjing when both stunned their third round opponents to make it to the quarter-finals of the World Championships on Thursday.
Liew, who was a former Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) player, pulling off a huge upset to shock India’s sixth seeded player Kidambi Srikanth 21-18, 21-18 to book a ticket into the World’s quarter-finals for the first time.
“I’ve worked very hard to win this match and I’m glad to be able to keep moving at the tournament,” said Liew.
“Now I’m going to try to play as well as I can in the next round. If I could produce another upset, it’s definitely a bonus for me,” said the AirAsia-sponsored player who will next meet Japan’s World No. 27 Kanta Tsuneyama.
On the other hand, the five-time men’s singles champion Lin Dan of China became the most high-profile casualty on Thursday when he fell to No. 3 seed Shi Yuqi again for the third time this year, losing 21-15, 21-9.
The defending champion and No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen will face No. 8 seed Chen Long on Friday.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s unseeded Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik continued their strong run at the tournament by outlasting World No. 8 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-18, 21-16 in the third round. They will face No. 4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen in the quarter-finals.
Li/Liu survived a scare to beat Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong 16-21, 21-15, 22-20 to reach the last eight.
In mixed doubles, the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalists Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia was on the verge of defeat before reeling off six consecutive points in the decider to beat No. 11 seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith from England 16-21, 21-17, 18-21. Chan/Goh will play No. 3 seeds Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong for a spot in the semi-final.