KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian independent shuttler, Liew Daren pulled the biggest surprise at the Yonex Thailand Open against world number three, Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the first round match, Wednesday.
Ranked 41 in the world, the 33-year-old fought out for 46 minutes to secure a 21-12, 21-18 win to show the Dane the exit door at the Impact Arena, Bangkok, according to the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) official site https://bwfbadminton.com.
“I am quite surprised. Before this tournament, I was not sure if I was participating because I was on the reserves list. So to make it at the last minute and to win against the third seed is a big surprise for me.
“I did not have much training because of the lockdown. I just kept myself fit at home. I always think I can compete, because my past results showed that sometimes I did well, so I believe in myself, but it’s just that sometimes my condition is not so good,” he told BWF after the match.
In the second round tie, Daren, the 2018 World Championship bronze medallist, will face Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu, who defeated Abhinav Manota of New Zealand 21-13, 21-17.
Daren’s winning form was followed by compatriot Lee Zii Jia in bouncing back from a set down to eliminate H.S. Prannoy of India 13-21, 21-14, 21-18 after a close to an hour battle.
The world number eight is scheduled to face another Indian shuttler and world number 14, Srikanth Kidambi in the last-16 stage on Thursday.
However, the country’s challenge in the women’s singles category ended when both Soniia Cheah and S. Kisona were ousted from the tournament.
The national number one Soniia went down 15-21, 12-21 to world number nine, An Se-young of South Korea after a 38-minute battle, while Kisona lost to former world number one, Saina Nehwal 21-15, 21-15 in the match rescheduled from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed that a German coach and a team entourage member from France were positive for COVID-19 in a mandatory PCR test conducted on Tuesday.
“The positive results were then confirmed today in a second test. They are currently in hospital for further observation and testing, and are required to stay in hospital for a minimum of 10 days.
“All players tested on Tuesday have returned a negative result,” the BWF said in a statement.
Other first-round results
(Note: All Malaysians unless stated and [ ] denotes seeding)
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi bt M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila (IND) 13-21, 21-8, 24-22
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean bt Vimala Heriau-Margot Lambert (FRA) 21-15, 21-18
Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen bt Anastasiia Akchurina-Olga Morozova (RUS) 21-10, 21-11
Pearly Tan-M Thinaah bt Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (THA) 21-19, 21-17
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bt Daniel Hess-Linda Efler (GER) 21-14, 21-14