PETALING JAYA: A fit and healthy Goh Soon Huat rose to the occasion to pull off an upset and move into the third round of the India Open GP Gold in Lucknow.
The 24-year-old Soon Huat, playing in only his second tournament since collapsing with illness during the Indonesian Open GP Gold last September, was on song as he overcame fifth seed Brice Leverdez of France 21-17, 21-18 on Wednesday.
It was a massive boost for Soon Huat, who is currently ranked 106th in the world, as he showed that he is slowly getting back to his feet with an impressive win over world No. 35 Leverdez.
The Malacca shuttler, who achieved a career best by making the final of the Malaysian Open GP Gold last year, will face local ace Aditya Prakash for a place in the quarter-finals.
It was also a solid day for former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli and national back-up shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin.
The pair, who fell in the final qualifying hurdle of the Malaysian Open last week, lived up to expectations by overcoming their Indian opponents and checking into the third round.
The 12th-seeded Zulfadli experienced a tricky day en route to beating Harsheel Dani and N.V.S. Vijetha.
The 13th-seeded Iskandar enjoyed an easier workout in beating Nigel D’Sa 21-14, 21-10 in the first round before thrashing qualifier Sachin Rawat 21-11, 21-11.
The former Asian and world junior runner-up will meet fourth seed Anand Pawar of India in the third round.
It was, however, curtains for five other budding BA of Malaysia (BAM) shuttlers, with Soong Joo Ven, Soo Teck Zhi, Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub, Tan Kian Meng and Chong Yee Han all falling in the second round to higher ranked opponents.
Asian Junior champion Teck Zhi gave a good account of himself but was unable to upstage second seed Ajay Jayaram, losing 25-27, 15-21. Joo Ven also gave a good fight before losing 14-21, 21-19, 14-21 to 14th seed Arvind Bhat.
In women’s singles, Tee Jing Yi got her career back on track by beating G. Ruthvika Shivani of India 21-17, 21-15 to make the second round.
Other results saw mixed doubles pair Mohd Lufti Zaim-Soong Fie Cho mounting a strong comeback to beat Jishnu Sanyal-Jwala Gutta of India 17-21, 22-20, 21-14 in the first round.