IT was another effortless win and it showed how much the national shuttlers are lagging behind Lee Chong Wei as he stormed into the semi-finals of the Johor Open at the Johor Baru City Stadium yesterday.
Back-up shuttler Chan Kwong Beng has been training with Chong Wei for more than a year but it hardly mattered as the latter picked up an easy 21-10, 21-5 win in 30 minutes in the quarter-finals.
Kuan Beng Hong reached the semi-finals after beating back-up player Lim Fang Yang of Pahang 21-17, 21-4 in just 20 minutes and will take on Chong Wei today.
Arif Latif also claimed a semi-final spot after beating Zairul Hafiz Zainuddin 21-16, 21-11 in 30 minutes.
Third seed Chong Wei Feng also advanced after beating fellow back-up player Liew Daren 21-15, 21-18 and will meet Arif in the last four.
Women’s singles top seed Wong Mew Choo also faced little trouble as she cruised into the last four with a 21-11, 21-6 win and will next play back-up shuttler Ooi Swee Wenn.
Swee Wenn progressed to the next round when she beat Lee Joo Yiet of Johor 21-12, 21-12.
The other semi-final will be a closely fought affair as Julia Wong will meet Lydia Cheah in a clash of national shuttlers.
Julia earned her spot in the last four after beating Stephanie Shalini 21-18, 21-15 while Lydia defeated Lim Yee Theng of Penang 21-12, 21-5.
In the men’s doubles, Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari were shocked by back-up pair Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jian Guo who secured a 21-15, 21-19 win to reach the last eight. The result meant Zakry-Fairuz are out of National Grand Prix Finals in Alor Star on Dec 9-12.
Top seeds Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were almost embarrassed by Arif and Vountus Indra Mawan but managed to snatch a 16-21, 21-18, 24-22 win to make it to the last eight.
Results — (All Q-Finals) Men’s Singles: Lee Chong Wei (BAM-Pg) bt Chan Kwong Beng (BAM-Pk) 21-10, 21-5; Kuan Beng Hong (BAM-Ked) bt Lim Fang Yang (BAM-Pah) 21-17, 21-4; Chong Wei Feng (BAM-Ked) bt Liew Daren (BAM-KL) 21-15, 21-18; Arif Latif (BAM-NS) bt Zairul Hafiz Zainuddin (BAM-Joh) 21-16, 21-11.
Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (BAM-Pk-Ked) bt Arif Latif-Vountus Indra Mawan (BAM-NS-Sab) 16-21, 21-18, 24-22; Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang (BAM-Pk-Joh) bt Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (Sel-Pg) 21-23, 21-13, 21-19; Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jian Guo (BAM-KL-Mal) bt Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari (BAM-NS-Pk) 21-15, 21-19; Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (BAM-Pk) bt Razif Latif-Tan Wee Kiong (BAM-NS-Joh) 21-16, 16-21, 21-17.
Women’s Singles: Wong Mew Choo (BAM-Sel) bt Tiffany Chase Currier (BAM-Mal) 21-11, 21-6; Ooi Swee Wenn (BAM-Ked) bt Lee Joo Yiet (Joh) 21-12, 21-12; Lydia Cheah (BAM-KL) bt Lim Yee Theng (Pg) 21-12, 21-5; Julia Wong (BAM-Mal) bt S. Stephanie Shalini (BAM-KL) 21-18, 21-15.