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Still in the reckoning


ALIVE: Wee Kiong-Thien How and Teik Chai-Soon Hock keep Malaysia's interest ticking

 CHONG Wei Feng crashed out of the China Masters but Malaysia's interest in the Super Series event was kept alive by men's doubles Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How and Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock in Changzhou yesterday.

Wei Feng, the only Malaysian left after the opening round of the men's singles, battled hard before suffering a 19-21, 23-21, 21-10 defeat in 74 minutes to China's Wang Zhengming in the second round.

Wee Kiong-Thien How, who reached the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Open in June, defeated Thailand's Patiphat Chalardchalaem-Nipitphon Puangpuapech 21-18, 21-18 in their second round match.

Wee Kiong-Thien How, ranked World No 37, will next meet Japan's top seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa who overcame compatriots Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko 21-14, 21-15, in the last eight today.

Professional pair Teik Chai-Soon Hock secured an easy 21-13, 21-18 win over China's back-pair of Li Gen-Liu Cheng and will take on another China pair Chai Biao-Zhang Nan next.

The other professional combination of Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari bowed out in the second round going down 16-21, 21-13, 21-13 to Rasmus Bonde-Mads Condrad Petersen of Denmark.

In mixed doubles play, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who received a bye in the second round, will play Tao Jiaming-Bao Yixin of China in the last eight.

Another pair Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo also advanced with a 21-9, 21-14 win over Tarun Kona-Ashwini Ponnappa of India and will play China's Qiu Zihan-Tang Jin Hua. In the women's doubles quarter-finals, Liu Ying-Yin Loo will play Duanganong Arunkesorn-Kunchala Voravichitchaikul of Thailand while Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern will play Japan's Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito.

Men's doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her said Wee Kiong-Thien How have been showing good progress and have a chance to qualify for the next year's World Championships in Guangzhou if they continue improving.

"They have been showing marked improvement and if they continue to do well, Wee Kiong-Thien How can qualify for next year's World Championships if their continue to build their ranking," said Kim Her in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"It is their first meeting against the Japanese pair but they have the chance to pull off an upset. They have received a good draw and should make it count."

The result also took some pressure off Kim Her as the decision to drop Mak Hee Chun and Vountus Indra Mawan didn't go down well in certain quarters.

"I had submitted the report on all the players' performance, discipline, attitude and training and tournaments as well as their results to the coaching and training committee (CTC) and the committee decided to drop Hee Chun and Vountus," Kim Her clarified.

The BA of Malaysia (BAM) will be monitoring the performance of the national players as its in the midst of restructuring the national set-up and the results in the China Masters and other tournaments over the next three months will be crucial for them.

Gan Teik Chai (inset) and Ong Soon Hock beat Li Gen-Liu Cheng 21-13, 21-18 in Changzhou yesterday.

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