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Malaysian duo dreaming of Olympics after stunning victory

Up and coming women’s pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei are eying an unlikely Olympic spot following their great start in the Maybank Malaysia Open presented by Proton on Wednesday. 

Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas 1st)The young Malaysians (left), who surprised a strong field to win the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold title in October, stunned third seeds Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna in an upset-filled day at the second OSIM BWF World Superseries tournament of the year.

Vivian-Khe Wei, who have yet to break into the top 20 of the world rankings, need to be among the top 16 pairs to qualify for the London Olympics.

They did their chances a world of good by beating the Japanese pair in three thrilling games, coming back from an opening game loss to eventually win 15-21, 21-19, 21-17.

“We have said our main aim is to qualify for the Olympics and I think we have given our chances a great boost by beating a top pair and reaching the second round of a Superseries tournament,” said Vivian.

“It was a good outcome and we got our revenge after losing to them in the India Open semi-finals less than a month ago.

“We were better prepared this time around following our match in December. The crowd played an important part in lifting us. We knew it was not going to be easy as the Japanese girls are known for their stamina and excellent defence.”

Kee Wei said: “Our coach (Rexy Mainaky) has been great and he always knows what to do and say. He kept telling us that we aretoo tense at times and he told us to relax and take it easy.

“I think that was the key to our victory today. We are obviously delighted as we didn’t expect to win.”

Vivian-Khe Wei will next meet Indonesia’s Anneke Feinya Agustin-Nitya Krishinda Maheswari in the second round.

Meanwhile, two other Malaysians pulled off stunning upsets as well.

Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas 1st)Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (right), started the ball rolling by defeating Japan Open champions and fifth seeds Chen Hung Ling-Cheng Wen Hsing of Taipei in three games.

The mixed doubles pair scored a tight 21-17, 12-21, 24-22 victory over the Japan Open champions to set-up a second round match-up with India’s V. Diju-Jwala Gutta, who knocked out Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart-Yao Lei 21-13, 19-21, 21-16.

“It is a wonderful feeling to reach the second round of the Malaysia Open Superseries for the first time, more so since we upset the fifth seeds. It was not an easy match and we have difficulties with the drift inside the court.

“Our target is to reach the quarter-finals. We will think about going further, once we get to the last eight.”

The Malaysians, who were runners-up at the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold last May, made an important breakthrough when they won the Bitburger Open Grand Prix Gold at the tailend of 2011.

Tee Jing Yi earned a best ever appearance in a Superseries event after stunning the much fancied Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.

The 21-year-old Jing Yi had never gone past the first round in four attempts here and her task was made harder after losing 16-21 in the first game.

But the powerfully built Jing Yi managed to level the tie by winning a nail biting second game 25-23. In the third game, she raced to a 12-0 lead and never looked back, wrapping up the match 16-21, 25-23, 21-10 to knock out the India Open Superseries champion.

“I lost my focus in the second game which allowed my opponent to claw back but after winning it, I became more confident,” said Jing Yi, who had to qualify for the tournament due to her low ranking.

“In the third game I caught her out with my service and I’m really happy to finally enter the second round.”

Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa stunned second seeds Ko Sung Hyun-Yoo Yeon Seong in three games to reach the second round of the men’s doubles.

The South Koreans, many people’s favourites for the title in the absence of the top three pairs in the world – Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng, Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae and Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen – took the first game before succumbing 19-21, 21-18, 21-19.

Peter Gade (NR Mas 1st)In the men’s singles, Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Peter Gade (left), Chen Long and Taufik Hidayat all safely made their made to Thursday’s second round.

Taufik, who has fallen from No. 2 to 12 in the world ranking in a space of 12 months, declared after beating Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 21-14, 21-9 that he is still confident of winning a medal at the London Olympics.

“It is a new year, a new start for me and I’m confident I can win a medal at the London Olympics,” said the 2003 world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medallist.

“It could be gold, silver or bronze. A medal is a medal and I feel I have what it takes to be on the podium.”

Taufik will play Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh in Thursday’s second round. 

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