Jiangsu: Malaysia’s national champion Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin kicked off his China Masters campaign with a 21-15, 21-16 demolition of Japanese Koki Watanabe to reach the second round on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Malaysian is set to play Zhu Siyuan of China in the second round on Wednesday. According to an official from BAM, Zainuddin who recently moved up to No. 36 in the world ranking could still have a slim chance to play in Rio if something were to happen to Lee Chong Wei. Based on the badminton qualifying system approved by IOC, the BWF ranking list of 5 May 2016 will be used to allocate the total of 38 places in each singles event. If Lee Chong Wei withdraws from the Olympics due to injury, the next highest ranking Malaysian player who is also ranked in the world’s top 38 would fill that vacant position.
“I’ll stay focus and play my best in every match, and I hope to be part of the Thomas Cup team,” said Zainuddin.
Malaysia’s independent shuttler Daren Liew also cruised through his first-round match. The No. 16 seed Malaysian needed just 35 minutes to see off Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-17, 21-17 and will play China’s Ye Binghong next.
No. 1 seed Chen Long of China succeeded effortlessly on Tuesday when he was granted a walkover by Mek Narongrit of Thailand. Chen will take on his junior Ren Pengbo of China in the second round. No. 2 seed Lin Dan also barely troubled by Jaspar Yu Woon Chai of Brunei as he edged past Yu 21-11, 21-6. Lin will play Cheng Po Wei of Taiwan on Wednesday.
In mixed doubles, scratch pair from Malaysia Tan Chee Tean-Chow Mei Kuan stormed past both their qualifying matches to advance to the main draw. They will quare-off against South Koreans Kim Gi Jung-Shin Seung Chan in the first round of main draw.