KUALA LUMPUR: National singles coach Datuk Misbun Sidek sacrificed his second day of Hari Raya celebration to be with the Malaysian team in Macau.
And his presence gave Kuan Beng Hong an extra boost to score one of the upsets in the men’s singles event when he beat 10th seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 22-20, 21-13 to reach the quarter-finals of the Macau Open yesterday.
It is the world No. 67 Beng Hong’s first win over Nguyen. Today, he will take on seasoned campaigner and compatriot Wong Choong Hann in the quarter-finals.
“It is Hari Raya in our country but our coach decided to turn up today (yesterday). He has sacrificed his time with his family to be with us,” said Beng Hong in a telephone interview yesterday.
“I am happy that he is here €” on a day when I managed to defeat Nguyen,” said Beng Hong.
After an early scare, top seed Lee Chong Wei also gave Misbun a reason to smile when he too checked into the quarter-finals with a 22-20, 21-14 win over a gutsy Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand.
World No. 1 and top seed Chong Wei will take on China’s Chen Hong today.
Chen Hong stuggled to beat Malaysia’s back-up shuttler Liew Daren 21-17, 21-19.
It was also the end of the road for two other promising back-up players €” Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Chong Wei Feng.
Arif went down 16-21, 12-21 to Indonesia’s rising star Alamsyah Yunus while Wei Feng found Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit too hot to handle and lost 13-21, 21-23.
In the men’s doubles, top seeds Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong stayed on track to retain their title when they defeated younger compatriots and Asian junior champions Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang 21-12, 21-18.
Today, though, they have a tricky encounter against China’s juniors Chai Biao-Liu Xiaolong in the last eight.
Two other pairs - Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng and Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jien Gu - also made it to the quarter-finals.
They will take on China’s Sun Junjie-Xu Chen and Taiwanese Fang Chien-min-Lee Sheng-mu respectively.
The others in the quarter-finals are women’s doubles players - top seeds Fong Chew Chen-Mooi Hing Yau, Ng Hui Lin-Woon Khe Wei and mixed doubles pairs, Lim Khim Wah-Khe Wei and Hee Chun-Vivian Hoo.