PETALING JAYA: The road to the Tokyo Olympics just gets tougher for independent pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong after they were bundled out of the Swiss Open.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, the silver medallists at the 2016 Rio Olympics, fell 19-21,19-21 to Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel in a 40-minute second round encounter on Thursday.
It was an unexpected blow as the Malaysians were seeded third and were expected to cross swords with compatriots and top seeds Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik in the semi-finals.
V Shem-Wee Kiong started the season in fine form by emerging as runners-up in the Thailand Open I in Bangkok in January. The pair were the finalists at the Swiss Open in 2015.
The odds are now heavily stacked against them to make the cut to Tokyo due to the uncertainty surrounding the remaining qualifiers.
Currently in the Road to Tokyo race, Aaron-Wooi Yik are leading the pack in eighth spot followed by V Shem-Wee Kiong at 14th and Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin at 15th.
A country can have two pairs if both are ranked in the top eight of the final qualifying list.
National No. 1 Aaron-Wooi Yik did not even have to lift their racquets to reach the last eight as they were handed a walkover by Denmark’s Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede.
They next face Indonesian rising stars Leo Carnando-Daniel Marthin, whom they had beaten in the Thailand Open II in January.
Ee Yi-Yew Sin kept their slim hopes of booking a spot at the Games alive after chalking a 21-18,21-13 win over Danish world No. 76 Joel Eipe-Rasmus Kjaer.
World No. 85 Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong also marched on when they sent world No. 12 Marcus Ellis-Chris Landgridge of England packing.
They gallantly fought from one game down to beat the Rio Olympics bronze medallists 10-21,21-15,21-15 in 72 minutes to reach their first-ever World Tour quarter-finals.
“This is the biggest win of our career as we have never beaten such highly-ranked opponents before.
“Of course, we’re very happy and it’s certainly a confidence booster!” exclaimed Hang Yee.
They however face a tough last eight encounter against Denmark’s world No. 15 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
(Matches involving Malaysians only)
Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Victor Svendsen (Den) 21-15,21-11.
Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik w.o. Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede (Den); Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong (Mas) bt Marcus Ellis-Chris Landgridge (Eng) 10-21,21-15,21-15; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) bt Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 21-19,21-19.
Women’s doubles: Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) bt Linda Efler-Isabel Herttrich (Ger) 21-18,21-17; Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas) bt Anastasiia Akchurina-Olga Morozova (Rus) 21-16.
Mixed doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) bt Ronan Labar-Anne Tran (Fra) 21-12,21-16.