Changzhou: World number five mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying kept their nerves to hold off a challenge from Korea’s World No. 41 Ko Sung Hyun/Eom Hye Won in the first round of the China Open on Wednesday.
The Malaysian pair looked in control as they avoided too many high lift to Ko Sung Hyun who is known for his powerful smash, ultimately winning the opener 21-16, 21-10 at the Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium. Chan/Goh will meet Tontowi Ahmad/Winny Oktavina Kandow of Indonesia in the second round.
Another Malaysian mixed doubles pair, Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai, however, was forced to work extremely hard, rallying from dropping the second set to beat Nipitphon Phuangphuapet/Savitree Amitrapai of Thailand 21-16, 19-21, 21-18 in 55 minutes. Goh/Lai will be taking on Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith of England next.
In men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi also survived a first-set scare to see off Kim Gi Gun/Lee Yong Dae of Korea 20-22, 21-13, 21-13. Next up for Ong/Teo will be Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark.
However, Malaysia’s World No. 13 Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik suffered yet another early exit by going down to Japan’s World No. 5 Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe 14-21, 17-21.
Even though he has not fully recovered from the left ankle injury he picked up at the 2019 Indonesia Open, China’s World No. 3 men’s singles player Shi Yuqi was seen playing in the opening round but eventually lost to teammate Lu Guangzu 5-21, 9-21. According to an insider, even if Shi lost in the first round of China Open, he could still earn 3,000 Olympic qualification points, that’s the main reason why the China team has decided to play him in the first round.