Top seeds clear first hurdle

Top seed Liew Daren will next take on China's Huang Yuxiang.

BESIDES third seed Liew Daren who had to come from a game down to win his match, the rest of our top shuttlers easily cleared their first hurdle as the Yonex Sunrise Malaysia Grand Prix (GP) Gold got underway today.

Daren who is the top seed after the withdrawal of world No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei (top seed) and Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro (second seed), displayed a lackluster performance in his first game against Indonesia's Alexander Kaizar Bobby before chalking up a 15-21, 21-12, 21-11 win.

“I was too relaxed in the first game, and I wasn’t focused. That forced me into making a lot of mistakes,” said Daren.

“I knew I could win, but I guess losing focus cost me the first game. The second and third was easy,” he added.

Singles head coach Rashid Sidek, was, however, in no mood to defend his understudy saying: “I think I repeated myself over and over again.

“He (Daren) needs to change his approach and personality when he enters the court. Just look at Chong Wei. You must have that confidence. Like a champion.

“Daren is a good player, and we have taught him and guided him in every aspect. This part of him, only he can change.”

Fourth seed Chong Wei Feng, who has overtaken Daren on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings proved he is in better form at the moment, when he sent compatriot and qualifier Woon Man Hung packing in straight games 21-11, 21-6.

“I have never reached a GP Gold final before, so with the absence of some of the top seeds, I’m targeting to achieve that now,” said Wei Feng, whose best achievement was reaching the semifinal of the Li Ning China Open Superseries Premier last November.

Wei Feng who is world No 12, will take on India's Sameer Verma tomorrow, while Daren squares off against 2010 Asian Junior champion Huang Yuxiang of China.

In the mixed doubles main draw which was also played today, Ong Jian Guo - Lim Yin Loo did good, by advancing to the next round after defeating Singapore's Terry Hee - Fu Mingtian 21-8, 21-12.

Chooi Kah Ming - Chow Mei Kuan who had to drag their match to the decider, also pulled through with a 22-20, 14-21, 21-15 win over Indonesia's Chandra Alvent Yulianto - Pradipta Rizki Amelia.

The tournament, initially scheduled to take place in Kuantan, Pahang from April 30-May 5, has been shortened by a day and moved to the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara as the finals clashed with the 13th General Election.

For full results, click here 

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