Tokyo: Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China suffered an early exit at the Japan Open on Wednesday by losing to Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen 21-16, 11-21, 21-23.
Lin, the five-time world champion, saw his 12-6 lead slowly getting chipped away by his Danish rival in the decider. Although he was able to force a deuce at 20-20, Jorgensen had the last laugh against the Chinese badminton legend by wrapping up the first round battle in 69 minutes.
Jorgensen will meet last week’s Indonesia Open champion Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the second round.
In a topsy-turvy battle between the two Lees, Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong and Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, Lee Cheuk Yiu eventually prevailed after dismissing Lee Zii Jia 21-19, 15-21, 21-19 in 64 minutes.
The Hong Kong player is scheduled to face last week’s Indonesia Open runner-up Anders Antonsen in the last 16.
Another men’s singles upset was scored by HS Prannoy of India as he defeated No. 8 seed Kidambi Srikanth 13-21, 21-11, 22-20.
In the men’s doubles first round match, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong continued to struggle as they lost their second consecutive first round battle to Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira/Ade Yusuf Santoso of Indonesia 22-24, 10-21 in just 38 minutes. Goh/Tan were also knocked out in last week’s Indonesia Open first round by Japan’s Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, losing 17-21, 21-19, 21-14.
Meanwhile, the No. 2 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda had to dig deep on Wednesday before seeing off another Malaysian pair Mohamad Arif Ab Latif Arif/Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn 18-21, 21-13, 21-8.
Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia were also faltered in the Japan Open opening round as they were beaten by Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich of Germany in the mixed doubles first round.