BUKIT JALIL: Misbun Sidek could very well be making more appearances in tournaments held in Malaysia in the future.
The former national singles coach made his first official appearance in a tournament for the first time in three years since quitting his post from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
Misbun, to the surprise of many, took one of the coaches’ seats during his son Misbun Ramdan’s second qualifying match against China’s Gao Huan.
Fuelled by his father’s presence, world No. 44 Ramdan mounted a furious comeback against the 24-year-old Gao Huan.
Unfortunately it was not enough as Ramdan went down fighting 9-21, 21-12, 17-21 in 57 minutes.
“I started too slow because this is a Super Series premier event and I was nervous,” said Ramdan.
“But having my father there in the corner definitely helped as he gave me instructions to push on after noticing that Gao Huan was slowing down in the second game.
“I guess his presence really made the difference because he did help a lot. It’s a shame I couldn’t finish on a high.”
Meanwhile Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s singles will be down to just world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren as no one else survived the qualifiers.
Former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli let slip a 17-13 lead in the first game as he crashed out 17-21, 14-21 against South Korea’s Lee Dong-keun in the second qualifying round.
Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin was also far from impressive as he lost in three games to Hong Kong’s Wei Nan.
In the men’s doubles, Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi enjoyed a solid start to the year by earning qualification to the main draw.
They first defeated Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart before eliminating Hong Kong’s Chan Tsz Kit-Lo Lok Kei in the qualifying finals.
Independent duo Mohd Razif Latif-Mohd Hafiz Hashim also made the cut after beating youngsters Low Juan Shen-Tai An Khang 21-8, 16-21, 21-18 in the second qualifying round.
In the women’s singles, Tee Jing Yi also made the cut after defeating compatriots Lee Zii Yii and Lydia Cheah.