Taipei: Malaysian shuttlers Lee Chong Wei, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, and Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei made a winning start to their campaigns at the $200,000 Yonex Open Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold tournament on Wednesday by entering the second rounds of their respective categories.
Badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei got the better of his South Korean rival Kim Dong Hoon as he won the match easily with 21-10, 21-7 in 28 minutes. Lee will face a dangerous opponent, Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the second round on Thursday.
Meanwhile, world No. 104 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin caused a shock upset in the opening round of the Chinese Taipei Open, beating world No. 25 Sho Sasaki of Japan 21-15, 17-21, 21-16 in 68 minutes. Iskandar will meet No. 6 seed Wang Zhengming of China in the second round.
It’s hard to determine whether the men’s doubles eighth seeds Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang of Korea who just won the gold at last week’s Gwangju Universiade tournament might have underestimated their Malaysian opponents; or whether the Malaysian men’s pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong has regained their top form, provided they have been struggling in their recent tournaments; After a little resistance, the Koreans raised the white flags in just 26 minutes, losing 14-21, 14-21 to the Malaysians. Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong will have their chances for revenge against SEA Games men’s doubles champions Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi of Indonesia in the second round. Goh/Tan lost to the Indonesian pair in SEA Games men’s team semifinal.
Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei fought back from a mid-match stumble against scratch pair of Korea Chae Yoo Jung/Kim Hye Rin on Wednesday, winning 21-6, 21-23, 21-14 to set up a women’s doubles second round clash with another Korean pair Go Ah Ra/Yoo Hae Won.
Men’s singles players Lin Dan, Chen Long and Jan O Jorgensen; women’s singles players Ratchanok Intanon, Li Xuerui, Wang Shixian, Wang Yihan, and Tai Tzu Ying; Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong in men’s doubles, Zhao Yun Lei/Zhang Nan, Xu Chen/Ma Jin in mixed doubles; and Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl in women’s doubles all marched on into the second round.
On the other hand, men’s doubles second seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China had a short-lived Chinese Taipei campaigns, losing in the first round to unseeded Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko 17-21, 21-18, 13-21. Men’s pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Chooi Kah Ming/Ow Yao Han, mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Chee Tean/Shevon Jemie Lai and men’s singles Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, Chong Wei Feng, Daren Liew also suffered first round exits on Wednesday.