THE absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei was greatly felt by Malaysia as their challenge in the men’s singles was wiped out on the first day of the individual competition at the Gymnasium 1 of the National Sports Complex yesterday.
Mohd Hafiz Hashim lost to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia for the second time in two days, losing a first-round match 12-21, 21-19, 14-21. He was also beaten in three games in the team final.
Liew Daren, who came in as the replacement for Chong Wei, crashed to a shock defeat by unheralded Vietnamese Nguyen Hoang Hai, losing 9-21, 15-21 in just 30 minutes.
Hopes were high on Daren to achieve a breakthrough in the SEA Games but he muffed the opportunity to enhance his chances to get into the team for the Thomas Cup Finals next year.
In the other events, it all went well for Malaysia with all their entries making it to the quarter-finals.
*Other matches involving Malaysians
Men’s doubles: Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari bt Bui Dang Duc-Dao Manh Thang (Vie) 21-15, 18-21, 21-10; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit (Tha) 14-21, 21-12, 23-21.
Women’s singles: Lydia Cheah (Mas) bt Le Nguyen Nhung (Vie) 14-21, 21-12, 21-12.
Women’s doubles: Sabrina Chong-Woon Khe Wei bt Khonesanith Inthavanh-Manivone Meungchaleun (Lao) 21-8, 21-11.
Mixed doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty bt Jeffrey Wong-Fu Mingtian (Sin) 21-17, 21-10; Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) bt Duong Bao Duc-Thai Thi Hong Gam (Vie) 21-15, 21-11.