WONG Choong Hanns chances of competing in the World Championships suffered a major setback when he crashed in the qualifying rounds of the Korea Open in Seoul yesterday.
However, Malaysia Open champions Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and compatriots Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock were in cruise control as they checked into the main draw which begins today.
Choong Hann, who fell in the second round of the Malaysia Open last week, had earlier yesterday beaten Yousuke Nakanishi of Japan 21-11, 24-22 and South Korean Ahn Hyun Suk 9-21, 21-8, 21-15.
In the final qualifying match, Choong Hann found Koreas 2004 Athens Olympic silver medallist Shon Seung Mo a shade too good going down 23-25, 21-14, 21-12.
Choong Hann, the World No 92, must break into the top 16 by the end of May if he hopes to be one of the three Malaysians in the World Championships scheduled for Aug 13-19 in Kuala Lumpur.
But yesterdays loss has only made it harder for the left-handed Malaysian.
Choong Hann must play in the qualifying rounds of the remaining legs of the Super Series and this makes it harder for him to earn sufficient points to boost his ranking.
However, Kien Keat-Boon Heong have little to worry about that as they moved into the main draw with a 21-9, 21-10 win over Bakhthurel Ochpurev-Enkhbat Olonbayar of Mongolia in just 14 minutes.
Their first round opponents, Daniel Shirley-John Gordon of New Zealand, withdrew from competition which allowed the Malaysian pair extra rest after last weeks hectic Malaysia Open.
Bin Shen-Soon Hock also impressed with a 23-21, 21-18 win over Lee Soon Cheol-Ko Sung Hyun of South Korea, and then outplayed another Korean pair, Yoo Yeon Seong-Jeon Jun Bum, 21-18, 21-17 to make the main draw.
In the main draw, Kien Keat-Boon Heong have another easy match against Germanys Roman Spitko-Michael Fuchs, while Bin Shen-Soon Hock also look good to advance against, unfortunately, compatriots Gan Teik Chai-Zakry Latif.
Fairuzizuan Tazari-Lin Woon Fui should also have it easy against Polands Michal Logosz-Robert Mateusiak but Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah can expect a fight from Australias Ashley Brehaut-Aji Basuki.
Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thien How face a tricky first round match against two world junior champions from Korea, Han Sang Hoon-Cho Gun Woo. Sang Hoon won the 2002 doubles title with Park Sung Hwan, while Gu Woon achieved the feat with Lee Yong Dae last year.
As for the singles, Lee Chong Wei and Yeoh Kay Bin aside, the rest face tough openers. Chong Wei, the second seed, opens against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, while Kay Bin plays little known Dane Kasper Oedum.
Hafiz Hashim opens against join third seed Chen Hong of China for the second time in as many weeks, Kuan Beng Hong faces a dangerous floater in Indonesias Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Roslin Hashim takes on Danish joint fifth seed Kenneth Jonassen.