KUALA LUMPUR: It never rains but it pours. That idiom is apt in describing the wretched run of national men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong of late.
The pair, who have been on a downward spiral since losing in the bronze medal playoff at the London Olympics last year, were sent packing in the second round of the Indonesia Open in Jakarta yesterday.
The third-seeded Kien Keat-Boon Heong went down to old timers Alven Yulianto-Markis Kido of Indonesia 21-23, 15-21 in 34 minutes – thus failing to get the breakthrough they yearned ahead of the World Championships in Guangzhou in August.
The Malaysians, however, were not the only seeded casualties yesterday.
Reigning All-England champions and seventh seeds Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China also crashed out after retiring at 15-13 against England’s Chris Adcock-Andrew Ellis.
A day ago, top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark were dumped by Russians Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov in the opening round.
With the loss of Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s doubles in the Indonesian Open is over as World Champion-ships-bound Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong went out on the opening day.
There was joy for Malaysia in the mixed doubles when Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying marched into the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 22-20, 21-16 win over South Koreans Yoo Yeon-song-Eom Hye-won.
The duo, determined to make up for a series of poor showings of late, will face heavy favourites Ahmad Tantowi-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia today.
The Malaysians have only beaten the All-England champions once in five meetings – at the China Open last year.
In the men’s singles, Indonesian youngsters Tommy Sugiarto and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka made up for the defeat of Taufik Hidayat by advancing to the quarter-finals.
Tommy, who defeated second seed and All-England champion Chen Long of China on Wednesday, will take on India’s R.M.V. Gurusaidatt while Dionysius will face China’s sole survivor – Du Pengyu – for a place in the semi-finals.
World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei fended off a stiff challenge in the opening game against B Sai Praneeth of India before marching into the quarter-finals with a 21-18, 21-12 win in 37 minutes.
Chong Wei will take on Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana today as he seeks his fifth Indonesia Open title.