Kuching: Malaysian shuttler Daren Liew appeared ready to put a turbulent 2014 behind him on Thursday as he had to battle hard to beat Malaysian champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli 23-21, 22-20 in a two-set thriller to advance into the Malaysia Masters quarter-finals.
Chong Wei Feng, however, entered the tournament having suffered an injury in the Purple League was defeated in straight sets 14-21, 21-23 by former Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) player Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif in 47 minutes.
Former Asian junior champion Soo Teck Zhi has shown improvements on his game when he hung on to beat Indian shuttler Subhankar Dey 21-19, 17-21, 21-10 in 54 minutes. He will take on Indonesia’s rising star Ihsan Maulana Mustofa on Friday. Ihsan defeated Goh Soon Huat of Malaysia 11-21, 22-20, 21-12 in 78 minutes on Thursday.
Malaysian pair Tan Boon Heong/Hoon Thien How who were seeking to collect points to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games to be staged in Rio, put up great fight and played incredible men’s doubles badminton against Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko of Japan, but only for two sets, before they were drained of stamina and went down 21-9, 19-21, 15-21 in the decider. Other Malaysian pairs who made it to the quarter-finals were Lim Khim Wah/Ow Yao Han, Chooi Kah Ming/Teo Kok Siang, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong.
Sixth seeds Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei were stunned by Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao of Japan 17-21, 24-26 in the second round of women’s doubles while Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho shocked eight seeds Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachat of Thailand 21-19,21-15 in 36 minutes.
Meanwhile, Wong Fai Yin/Chow Mei Kuan and Chan Peng Soon/Lai Pei Jing won their respective matches in mixed doubles to move into the next round.