PETALING JAYA: National number one Lee Chong Wei marched into the Danish Open quarter-finals in convincing fashion in Odense on Thursday.
But Mohd Hafiz Hashim crashed out yet again in an early stage of an international tournament, raising a big question mark over his status in the national team.
Hafiz: Lost 17-21, 15-21 to Danish Joachim Persson in the second round of the Danish Open yesterday.
Chong Wei took only 30 minutes to tame Przemyslaw Wacha of Poland 21-12, 21-13 to set up an interesting battle against Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, the runner-up in the World Championships, in the last eight.
The world number 21 Hafiz, however, failed to join Chong Wei into the last eight after losing 17-21, 15-21 to qualifier Joachim Persson of Denmark in the second round.
With his inability to garner more ranking points, Hafiz will find it tough to qualify for next year's Beijing Olympic Games.
It was a day of mixed emotions for national singles coach Misbun Sidek.
“Chong Wei is establishing himself as a solid player. Hafiz, on the other hand, is losing to just about any player. He was not expected to lose to the Denmark player in this tournament,” lamented Misbun in a telephone interview from Odense yesterday.
“Hafiz found it hard to intercept the Dane's fiery attack. Hafiz rebounded in the second game by taking an 11-8 lead but his opponent caught up with seven straight points. That demoralised Hafiz. He needs to change his attitude.”
Misbun said that he would monitor Hafiz's performance at next week's French Open before taking a serious look on his training programme.
Malaysia also have one representative each in the men's and women's doubles events.
World number one Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong reached the men's doubles quarter-finals with a 21-18, 21-18 win over Indonesians Hendra Gunawan-Joko Riyadi.
They will now take on Denmark's Mathias Boe-Cartsen Morgensen.
National number one Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty have never beaten two top Chinese women's doubles pairs in a tournament. Today, they will be out for a breakthrough when they take on Zhao Tingting-Yu Yang of China in the quarter-finals.
On Wednesday, Eei Hui-Pei Tty put up an outstanding show to stun top seeds Zhang Yawen-Wei Yili of China in the first round.