Basel: Malaysia’s Daren Liew and Lee Zii Jia have passed their respective first round hurdles at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Monday.
Liew, who won bronze medal after reaching the semi-finals of last year’s World Championships in Nanjing, China, needed 45 minutes to overcome Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab 21-19, 21-13. Monday’s victory was also his second career victory over Phetpradab after defeating the Thai player at last year’s Thailand Masters.
Liew will take on this year’s Indonesia runner-up and No. 5 seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the second round.
“Looking at their recent performances, of course Antonsen is in the better position but if Daren can stay fully focused, he still has the opportunity to defeat Antonsen,” said Malaysia’s former men’s singles national coach Rashid Sidek, who helped prepare Liew for the World Championships.
In addition to Liew, World No. 13 Lee Zii Jia also captured a dominant first-round victory over Brazil’s Ygor Coelho, beating the Brazilian 21-17, 21-15. Lee will meet China’s Lu Guangzu next after the Chinese player outlasted Germany’s Kai Schaefer 21-12, 21-15.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s World No. 20 men’s pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi got off to a strong start in Basel by overcoming Germany’s Bjarne Geiss/Jan Colin Volker 21-12, 21-19 in 31 minutes. They have been drawn to face compatriots and World No. 14 Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong in the second round.
The men’s singles World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan and five-time World champion Lin Dan of China have both advanced to the second round. Momota will take on Luis Enrique Penalver of Spain while Lin Dan will battle HS Prannoy of India on Tuesday.
Daren Liew to play Anders Antonsen of Denmark on Wednesday. (photo: Luis Veniegra/Sopa Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)