Mulheim-An-Der-Rhur: The Rio Olympic men’s doubles silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were forced to dig deep in a tight second set, recovering from 9-11 down, before snatching the second set and beating Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan 21-16, 17-21, 21-16 to set up second round battle with Tinn Isriyanet/Kittisak Namdash of Thailand on Thursday.
Although another Malaysian men’s pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi were able to force their first-round match to the decider but could not come out victorious after they dropped their third set and lost to Taiwan’s No. 4 seeds Lee Jhe-huei/Lee Yang 21-17, 15-21, 20-22.
Earlier Wednesday, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying who also won the Rio Olympics mixed doubles silver medal, fell to Indonesians Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti 19-21, 18-21 in 41 minutes. This was Chan/Goh’s second straight loss to the Indonesians after they were defeated by Jordan/Oktavianti in the first round of the 2018 India Open on Jan 31.
Wednesday was a tough opener for two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China too when the men’s singles No. 2 seed saw off a spirited challenge from the much-hyped Russian Vladimir Malkov 21-11, 23-21 to reach the second round. Lin will meet unseeded Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan next.
Perhaps the biggest upset on Wednesday came from Son Wan Ho of Korea, when the No. 1 seed Korean suffered a shocking defeat by losing to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 19-21, 21-11, 13-21.
Malaysia’s challenge in the women’s singles fizzled out after the reigning Malaysian champion Soniia Cheah went down to No. 4 seed Chen Yufei of China 21-11, 21-13 while the 2015 World Junior champion Goh Jin Wei had no answer to No. 7 seed Sayaka Sato of Japan, going down 15-21, 10-21.