Door reopens for Hong Kong’s Vincent Wong to qualify for Dubai badminton finals

The men’s singles player is among several local shuttlers to reach the second round of the Hong Kong Open at the Coliseum

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:29pm

A resurgent Vincent Wong Wing-ki finds himself in a position to reach the year-ending superseries finals but the Hong Kong player is not looking that far and will only consider it a bonus if he can be among the elite eight in Dubai.

Wong on Wednesday cruised to a 21-10, 21-13 victory over Taiwan’s Lin Yu-hsien in the men’s singles opening round of the US$400,000 Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open – the last event of the 12-leg series at Hung Hom.

He is now competing with fellow Hong Kong team member Hu Yun for the final spot in the eight-team Dubai finals, which take place next month.

“I’ve never expected to make it [to the superseries finals] as I only did well in a number of events after the Rio Olympics and suddenly my chances has been revitalised,” said Wong.

“It would be a great opportunity because I have never been to the superseries finals before and it’s always a nice goal to work for. But it’s only a bonus and not the most important agenda. My immediate target is to do well in the next match before I can think that far away.”

Wong represented Hong Kong at the London Olympic Games where he reached the last 16 before losing to Chen Long, of China. He has since been usurped in Hong Kong by rising star Angus Ng Ka-long and veteran Hu Yun, who represented the city in the Rio Olympics.

However, after reaching the quarter-finals of last month’s Denmark Open as well as a last-four finish in the Korea Open the previous month, he has revived his Dubai hopes.

He will now take on England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the second round and Wong said that with many of the top players opting out the Hong Kong event, the men’s singles had been thrown wide open.

Also advancing for Hong Kong was Ng, who beat Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli after the latter retired in the third game when Ng was leading 17-12.

Wei Nan beat Wang Tzu-Wei, of Taiwan, 21-17, 21-18, while Hu Yun scored a 21-16, 21-19 win over Marc Zwiebler of Germany.

The biggest upset of the day came from another Hong Kong player, qualifier Lee Cheuk-yiu, who stunned China’s fifth seed Tian Houwei 22-20, 21-19.

In the women’s singles, Yip Pui-yin won her first match after the Olympic Games when she reversed the result over Line Kjaersfeldt, of Denmark. The Dane beat Yip in straight games in the China Open last week, but it was Yip who reigned in front of her home crowd with a 21-12, 21-17 win.