KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) — Reigning world no 1 men’s singles badminton shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei had to work extra hard to beat South Korea’s Hong Ji Hoon in the first round of the Korea Open Super Series championship held at the 2nd Olympic Gymnasium, Bangi-Dong in Seoul, today.
In the three-set match which lasted 56 minutes, the 25-year-old Penangite took the first set 21-11 but went down 17-21 in the second to the 55th ranked opponent.
However, Chong Wei, clinched the Malaysian Open title last week, emerged victorious in the third set despatching the Korean in 21-15.
In the second round tommorow, Chong Wei, who is the top seed, will take on unseeded Tanongsal Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. The Thai had beaten Malaysian Pei Wee Chung in straight set 21-14, 21-11.
Besides Chong Wei, two national back up players also advanced to the second round.
Cheng Wei Feng outclassed South Korea’s Kim Sa Rang 21-15, 21-12 while Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif defeated Anand Pawar of India 21-14, 21-15 in their respective first round matches.
In the second round, Wei Feng will face Indonesia’s Simon Santoso who outplayed another Malaysian back-up player, Kuan Beng Hong, 21-13, 21-12, 21-12.
Arif will take on another Indonesian, Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, who defeated Tago Kenichi of Japan.
However, it was a misadventure for former All-England champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim when he was shown the exit after crashing out to Denmark’s Joachim Persson 21-13, 21-12 in 24 minutes.
In the men’s doubles, fifth-seeded Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah outplayed the Korean pair of Ko Sung Hyun-Kwon Yi Goo 21-17, 21-19. They next face the Indonesian pair of Alvent Yulianto Chandra-Hendra Aprida Gunawan.
The national pair of Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng also defeated Kim Ki Eung-Kim Ki Jung of South Korea 23-21, 21-8 to book a second round match against their opponents compatriots Han Sang Hoon-Shin Baek Choel.
In the women’s singles, Julia Wong Pei Xian had an easy 21-9, 21-15. victory over Aditi Mutatkar of India
However, in the second round match, she is expected to face stiff resistance from Wang Chen of Hong Kong, who earned a walkover win against Nicole Grither of Germany.
Malaysia’s Lydia Cheah Li Ya, however, lost to Pia Zebadiah Bernadet of Indonesia 21-9, 21-16.