ODENSE: Several of Malaysia’s SEA Games-bound shuttlers took a heavy beating in the Denmark Open, casting doubts of their ability to win medals in Jakarta.
But men’s singles shuttler Liew Daren described it as a momentary setback after losing 23-21, 20-22, 9-21 to India’s Anand Pawar in the second round of the qualifying tournament on Tuesday.
Daren said that his fitness was a letdown against the fast-attacking Anand, who looked to have benefited from playing in Denmark’s league prior to the tournament.
“My fitness let me down and I could not keep up with the pace set by Anand. He has certainly improved since playing in the league here,” said Daren.
“I have beaten Lee Hyun-il (South Korea) and Simon Santoso (Indonesia) before this tournament. This is just one tournament too many for me ... and not enough of training. I will focus more on my physical fitness to be in better shape for next week’s France Open.
“I am still optimistic of my chances at the SEA Games next month. I can still fight for a medal if I push myself.”
Back-up shuttler Mohd Arif Abdul Latif gave a better showing to make the main draw but he fell 21-16, 21-10 to Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen in the first round.
In the men’s doubles, SEA Games gold medal hopefuls Lim Khim Wah-Goh Wei Shem could not handle a strong assault from England’s Anthony Clark-Chris Langridge and lost 18-21, 14-21 in the opening round of qualifying tournament.
Said Khim Wah: “We know what went wrong and will try not to repeat it. There were too many mistakes from us. We did reasonably well at the Japan Open (reached quarter-finals) but we crashed out early here. We are still in the process of stabilising our game.
“Wei Shem and I will get our act right at the SEA Games.”
It was also the end of the road for reigning Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold champions Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo when they crashed out to Savitree Amitapai-Sapriree Taerattana-chai of Thailand 4-21, 14-21.
But Sabrina Chong-Goh Liu Ying did well to keep Malaysia’s flag flying high when they cleared the qualifying tournament.