KUALA LUMPUR: National singles shuttler Liew Daren will focus on a long rehabilitation programme after pulling out from the Hong Kong Open on the eve of the competition in Kowloon on Tuesday.
Daren suffered a hamstring injury during the China Open and decided that he was still unfit to mount a strong challenge in the Hong Kong Open. He was slated to meet Kenichi Tago of Japan in the first round on Wednesday.
Daren, who has no more tournaments for the rest of the year, said that he would seek treatment from the National Sports Institute (NSI) to toughen himself up physically so that he could start afresh next season.
“I was down with foot injury (during the Denmark Open) and then, hamstring. I have enough of injuries. Hopefully, in the next one month I will be able to focus on my rehabilitation programme at NSI,” said Daren, whose world ranking has dropped to 29th spot.
“I expect my world ranking to drop even further. I hope to get back into the top 20 next year and I need to be in good condition to do so. I want to be ready before the new season starts with the Korean and Malaysian Opens in January,” he added.
Without Daren, the challenge in the men’s singles has been reduced to two. World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Chong Wei Feng will open their campaign on Wednesday with first round matches against K. Srikanth of India and Sho Sasaki of Japan respectively.
There is a possibility of an all-Malaysian second round match if both Chong Wei and Wei Feng win today.
In the mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will be the only Malaysian representative in the first round of the Hong Kong Open following the defeat of Tan Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo.
Wee Kiong-Vivian failed to come through the qualifying tournament when they went down 18-21, 17-21 to Tang Chung Man-Ng Wing Yung of Hong Kong in their opening match.
Meanwhile, former international Mak Hee Chun made it to the main draw of the men’s doubles with his partner Lu Ching-yao of Taiwan but their challenge could come to an end today when they take on scratch combination Alven Yulianto-Shintaro Ikeda of Indonesia and Japan.