MALAYSIA have put two elite back-up men’s singles players — Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng — in the main draw of the Malaysian Open but three others crashed out in the qualifying tournament yesterday.
Daren beat Thailand’s top junior Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 19-21, 21-19, 21-15 in the first round and had an easy 21-17, 21-11 win over compatriot Vountus Indra Mawan to make the grade.
He will take on Thailand’s number one player Boonsak Ponsana today and it is unlikely that he will advance.
National Championships runner-up Wei Feng, who came into the tournament as a replacement for Indonesian Taufik Hidayat, will take on Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit and he has a better chance of winning the match.
But it was the end of the road for Tan Chung Seang, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Chan Kwong Beng, who are being groomed for the 2012 London Olympics under the charge of Rashid Sidek.
Both Chun Seang and Kwong Beng lost to seasoned campaigner Kuan Beng Hong in the first and second round matches respectively.
Beng Hong faces Ng Wei of Hong Kong in the main draw.
Arif found Taiwanese Hsueh Hsuan-yi too hot to handle and bowed out 17-21, 9-21 in the second round.
Sonia Cheah was the only women’s singles player to clear the qualifying tournament and she has set up a meeting with elder sister Lydia in the first round.
In the men’s doubles, Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Teo Kok Siang, who are one of the new combinations forged by coach Rexy Mainaky, made it to the main draw.
They will take on Super Series Masters Finals champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong today.