KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) - Despite nursing an injury, independent men's singles shuttler, Darren Liew breezed through two qualifying matches at the Malaysia Masters 2020 which opened at Axiata Arena today.

Darren who has been suffering a back pain in the last two week, easily disposed of Subhankar Dey of India 21-15, 21-15 and Zhao Jun Peng of China 21-15, 21-15 to join the main draw. 

“I was trailing 0-4 to Zhao initially but I managed to pull out of the slum with more aggressive tactics. Playing two matches in a day is bearable physically.

“It is just that I am injured which made it more difficult. I can feel the stiffness at the back but I manage to win today,” he told the media after his games at Arena Axiata, Bukit Jalil.

The 30th ranked player in the world is expected to meet world number six, Jonatan Christie of Indonesia next.





Daren said he wanted to focus fully on the tournament first and did not want to think too much about the Olympics as there is still time to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

“It will be tough to get a slot for Olympic Games but it is not impossible. After some championships, I will work harder for the chance to be in the Olympics,” he said.

Meanwhile, national men’s singles player, Soong Joo Ven failed to advance to the main draw to join Darren and Lee Zii Jia.

Joo Ven who won his first match against Hong Kong’s Vincent Wong Wing Ki, 21-8, 17-21, 21-15 was stopped by Japanese player, Koki Watanabe in 16-21, 21-16, 11-21.

Meanwhile, national mixed doubles pairs, Low Hang Yee-Lim Chiew Sien and Man Wei Chong-Pearly Tan Koong Le shocked their higher ranked opponents in the qualifying round to enter the main draw.





The new national pair of Low-Lim eliminated world 53rd ranked pair of Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand 21-17, 21-16 while Man-Pearly Tan (89) defeated Indonesia’s new pair of Alfian Eko Prasetya-Annisa Saufika, 21-16, 21-17.

    Another national mixed doubles combination of Chia Wei Jie-Yap Ling however lost to Choi Solgyu-Shin Seung Chan of South Korea, 14-21, 15-21.

In the first round of the main draw, Man-Pearly Tan will meet fifth seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia while Low-Lim will face compatriots, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who are seeded sixth in the tournament.

In the women’s doubles, three national pairs progressed to the main draw with Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling and Pearly Tan Koong Le-M.Thinaah awarded wins after their respective opponents, Cheng Chi Ya-Lee Chin Chen (Taiwan) and Alexandra Boke-Metter Poulsen (Denmark) withdrew.

In this regard,  Anna Cheong Ching Yik-Lim Chiew Sien beat another national pair Cheah Yee See-Payee Lim Peiy Yee 21-11, 21-18. 

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Teoh-Yap are down to meet Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida of Japan while Anna Cheong-Lim will face off with Pearly Tan-Thinaah.

In the men’s doubles, three national pairs, namely  Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Mohamad Arif Ab Latif-Nur Mohd Azryin Ayub and Shia Chun Kang-Tan Boon Heong failed to make it to the main draw after being beaten in the qualifying round today.

There were no representatives in the women’s singles event when Soniia Cheah withdrew after suffering a hamstring injury followed by Goh Jin Wei who also withdrew as the coaching team felt she needed more time to regain her fitness after an operation in October.



TAG; Malaysia Masters,  Darren Liew, main draw, qualifying round