PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s SEA Games squad suffered a blow when a host of them tumbled out in the first round of the Macau Open GP Gold on Wednesday.
Men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Teo Kok Siang were the biggest culprits, losing to China’s youngsters Huang Kaixiang-Zheng Si Wei 11-21, 15-21.
It was a disappointing result for the pair, particularly V Shem, who has loads of experience competing in Super Series events.
The pair, who are expected to lead the challenge in Naypyitaw next month, were way below par and Malaysia should not place too much hope on them to deliver at the SEA Games.
The young Chinese pair, meanwhile, will go on to face top seeds Lee Sheng Mu-Tsai Chia Hsin of Taiwan in the second round.
Mixed doubles fourth seeds Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo were the next to fall, going down 18-21, 11-21 in just 29 minutes to Taiwan’s Chen Hung Ling-Lee Chia Hsin.
Another SEA Games-bound pair, second seeds Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing nearly fell by the wayside but they managed to overcome Taiwan’s Lin Chia Yu-Wang Pei Rong 21-16, 12-21, 21-17 in the mixed doubles.
Yin Loo even suffered the agony of losing twice on the same day – crashing out in the first round of the women’s doubles with Lee Meng Yean.
Yin Loo-Meng Yean who are also heading for Naypyitaw, were no match for Taiwan’s Cheng Wen Hsing-Hsieh Pei Chen, losing 17-21, 17-21.
Third seeds Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, however, saved the day with a comfortable win over Thailand’s Phataimas Muenwong-Kilasu Ostermeyer.
They won 21-15, 21-12 and are likely to face China’s Huang Yaqiong-Yu Xiaohan next.
“It’s a good match to win and a good start,” said Vivian.
“We haven’t played a tournament in a long time so it’s nice to get that competitive edge back.
“But we’re expecting the matches to get tougher so we’ll just have to prepare accordingly.”
Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin again enjoyed an easy day in the men’s singles.
The lanky Iskandar, who needed only 15 minutes in the first round, needed an extra five minutes to dispatch compatriot Ikmal Hussai Jaafar 21-7, 21-6.
Iskandar will meet 11th seed Vladimir Ivanov of Russia for a place in the quarter-finals..
Tan Chun Seang, the 14th seed, also progressed after beating former national player Kuan Beng Hong 21-19, 21-18.