By : K.M. Boopathy
WORLD No 2 Lee Chong Wei easily cleared the first round of the Korea Open in Seoul yesterday but compatriot Hafiz Hashim bit the dust.
Fresh from his fourth Malaysia Open victory on Sunday, Chong Wei clinched a 21-9, 21-9 win in just 23 minutes.
An interesting battle looms in the second round where Chong Wei will be involved in a rematch of the Malaysia Open final against South Korean Lee Hyun Il.
Hafiz, who badly needs to show results to qualify for the Olympics, looked uninspired and went down 21-12, 21-10 to Indonesian Simon Santoso.
It was the former All England champion's second defeat in the first round after losing to Chong Wei in the Malaysia Open last week.
Wong Choong Hann showed his KLRC teammate Lee Tsuen Seng the door with an 19-21, 21-16, 21-10 victory in his opening match.
However, Choong Hann faces an uphill task today against third seed Bao Chunlai of China, who beat Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands 21-11, 21-16.
Yeoh Kay Bin crashed out in the first round with a 21-14, 21-13 loss to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia while Roslin Hashim was beaten 21-16, 21-17 by Japan's Shoji Sato.
In the men's doubles, Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan had a fiery start when they secured an easy 21-5, 21-13 win over Russians Vitalij Durkin-Alexandr Nikolaenko.
Zakry-Fairuz will meet Indonesia's Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto, whom the National No 3 defeated in the Malaysia Open last week, in the second round today.
Former national pair Chew Choon Eng-Chan Chong Ming advanced to the second round after edging Koreans Cho Gun Woo-Yoo Yeon Seong 24-26, 21-18, 21-19 to take on third seeds Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae, also from Korea.
Wong Mew Choo, the Malaysia Open semi-finalist, suffered a shock exit when she lost to Korean backup shuttler Lee Yun Hwa 21-11, 21-16 in the first round.
However, Julia Wong kept Malaysia's interest in the event alive by ousting Thailand's Salakjit Ponsana 21-16, 21-15. Julia will face second seed Zhang Ning of China in the second round.
Women's doubles Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui received a walkover from England's Gail Emms-Donna Kellogg and will meet Japan's Aki Akao-Tomomi Matsuda today.
First round results – Men's singles: Lin Dan (Chn) bt Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) 21-17, 21-18; Chan Yan Kit (HK) bt Sairul Amar Ayub 21-13, 21-17; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Yeoh Kay Bin 21-14, 21-13; Peter Gade Christensen (Den) bt Chen Yu (Chn) 21-15, 21-18; Bao Chunlai (Chn) bt Dicky Palyama (Ned) 21-11, 21-16; Wong Choong Hann bt Lee Tsuen Seng 19-21, 21-16, 21-10; Shoji Sato (Jpn) bt Roslin Hashim 21-16, 21-17; Simon Santoso bt Hafiz Hashim 21-12, 21-10.
Doubles: Chew Choon Eng-Chan Chong Ming bt Cho Gun Woo-Yoo Yeon Seong (Kor) 24-26, 21-18, 21-19; Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari bt Vitalij Durkin-Alexandr Nikolaenko (Rus) 21-5, 21-13; Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (Ina) bt Patapol Ngernsrisuk-Sudket Prapakamol (Tha) 21-14, 21-17.
Women's singles: Lee Yun Hwa (Kor) bt Wong Mew Choo 21-11, 21-16; Julia Wong bt Salakjit Ponsana (Tha) 21-16, 21-15.
Doubles: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui w.o. Gail Emms-Donna Kellogg (Eng); Lim Pek Siah-Chor Hooi Yee bt Elodie Eymard-Weny Rahmawati 21-14, 12-21, 21-14; Aki Akao-Tomomi Matsuda (Jpn) bt Fong Chew Yen-Mooi Hing Yau 21-18, 17-21, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) bt Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei 21-19, 19-21, 21-11.