Cheam June Wei, Goh Jin Wei Advance at 2021 Orleans Masters

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Cheam June Wei to play Kidambi Srikanth in Orleans Masters third round. (photo: AFP)
Cheam June Wei to play Kidambi Srikanth in Orleans Masters third round. (photo: AFP)

Orleans: The World No. 78 men’s singles player, Cheam June Wei of Malaysia earned a chance to avenge his defeat to World No. 14 Kidambi Srikanth of India at the second Group B match of last year’s Badminton Asia Team Championships, after advancing into the Orleans Masters third round on Thursday.

Cheam made a victorious return Tuesday after more than a year without competing at any international tournaments since the Badminton Asia Team Championships that was held in Manila, Philippines, from Feb 11, 2020, to Feb 16, 2020. He moved past Ygor Coelho of Brazil in the first round with 21-11, 21-15 and saw off Samuel Hsiao of Germany in the second round with 21-18, 21-15.

Meanwhile, the top-seeded Srikanth had a first-round bye and overcame teammate Ajay Jayaram 21-15, 21-10 to enter the third round.

Another Malaysian men’s singles player, Soong Joo Ven was putting up a strong fight in the second round against No. 3 seed Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark, before going down 19-21, 19-21 in 43 minutes.

In women’s singles, Malaysia’s 2015 and 2018 World Junior champion, Goh Jin Wei also made her return to international badminton for the first time after a 13-month layoff, beating Hristomira Popovska of Bulgaria 21-8, 21-14 to set up a second-round meeting with Aliye Demirbag of Turkey.

Nevertheless, the 2015 World Junior Championships women’s singles silver medalist Lee Ying Ying was knocked out by Iris Wang of the USA in the first round, losing 6-21, 9-21.

Also moved into the second round were Wong Tien Ci/Lim Chiew Sien in mixed doubles. They powered through a tough first round to beat Paul Reynolds/Rachael Darragh of Ireland 16-21, 21-12, 21-17, facing Max Flynn/Jessica Pugh of England next.

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