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Young guns on target

It was the turn of a couple of Malaysians - neither of whom was Lee Chong Wei - to draw the applause on the third day of the Li Ning Singapore Open, the sixth stop of the 2012 OSIM BWF World Superseries.

Liew Daren (pictured right) and Chong Wei Feng, both expected to follow in the footsteps of their legendary senior teammate, progressed into the quarterfinals by upsetting higher-ranked players.

Liew Daren nixed the hopes of No.2 seed Lee Hyun Il, while Chong Wei Feng followed up on his upset of Taufik Hidayat in the first round by scalping the in-form Hu Yun – who just last week had figured in the semifinals of the Djarum Indonesia Open.

Those two results were among the bigger upsets recorded on Thursday, but one could also mention the exit of No.3 seed Kenichi Tago. World No.8 Tago was involved in a tight contest with a player ranked ten places below him – the former world junior champion, Wang Zhengming (pictured left), who eventually prevailed 17-21 21-17 21-16.

The rest of the quarterfinal places were taken by Dionysius Rumbaka, Nguyen Tien Minh, Boonsak Ponsana, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Viktor Axelsen.

While Rumbaka won an all-Indonesian contest against Tommy Sugiarto, Kuncoro continued to impress with his recent form, running roughshod over Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. Qualifier Kuncoro booked an interesting quarterfinal battle against Axelsen with his 21-11 21-17 verdict over Tanongsak. Axelsen himself was troubled briefly by India’s Anand Pawar, but managed to close out the match in straight games.

In the women’s singles, all the favoured players booked their quarterfinal spots. No.2 seed Juliane Schenk turned out to be the only European left in the quarterfinal line-up after she overcame Chinese resistance in the form of Chen Xiao Jia. Fellow-European Petya Nedelcheva would have been expected to trouble seventh seed Sayaka Sato, but the Bulgarian meekly crumbled 21-13 21-15.

In the mixed doubles, Hendra Setiawan, partnering Vita Marissa, fought off a tenacious He Hanbin and Bao Yixin, 21-17 17-21 21-15, while Yoo Yeon Seong / Jang Ye Na won an al-Korean encounter against Ko Sung Hyun / Eom Hye Won. Sixth seeds V Diju and Jwala Gutta made quick work of Malaysians Tan Aik Quan/ Lai Pei Jing 21-15 21-15, and will next play Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling/ Cheng Wen Hsing.

The Japanese have some strong women’s doubles teams, and three of the four pairs made the last-eight cut. Top seeds Mizuki Fujii/ Reika Kakiiwa booked a quarterfinal showdown against fifth seeds Bao Yixin/ Zhong Qianxin; they were joined in the quarterfinals by Shizuka Matsuo/ Mami Naito and Miyuki Maeda/ Satoko Suetsuna. Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari followed up on a strong Indonesia Open performance by beating Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa (pictured right); the Indonesians will take on teammates Anneke Agustin and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari.

Results of the second round of the 2012 Li Ning Singapore Open can be found here.

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