Hong Kong shuttlers sent packing at Asia Championships – with déjà vu for Lee Cheuk-yiu
- Lee meets a familiar foe in Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in men’s singles – and is left with a familiar feeling
- Three of Hong Kong’s doubles pairs crash out in second round, although coach comes to players’ defence
For a second tournament in a row, Lee Cheuk-yiu lost to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo of Indonesia. The leading Hong Kong player in the absence of Angus Ng Ka-long, he was beaten in straight games, going down 21-19, 22-20 in their men’s singles second-round encounter.
Dwi Wardoyo, who ranks more than 30 places below world No 17 Lee, had also overcome Lee in the Asia Team Championships in Malaysia two months ago. The Indonesian had also sent home top seed Kento Momota of Japan in the opening round on Wednesday.
Head coach Tim He Yiming sympathised with Lee after his player had chances to win the match, leading in the closing stages of both games but not capitalising on the big points.
“Overall, Lee did OK, but unfortunately the opponent got the better of him on the crucial points,” He said. “Winning or losing is sometimes a fine margin, and evidently it wasn’t Lee’s day.”
Lee was leading 19-14 in the first game, needing two more points to wrap it up, only for the Indonesian to take seven points in a row. In the second, Lee came back from 15-19 down to lead 20-19, but Dwi Wardoyo battled to take the next three points.
In the mixed doubles, Chang Tak-ching and Ng Wing-yung were the only survivors among the Hong Kong contingent following the opening round, which brought the unexpected exit of top pair Tse Ying-suet and Tang Chun-man. But their success was short-lived as they lost to Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya of Japan 21-15, 21-17 in the second round.
In the women’s doubles, Yeung Pui-lam and Yeung Nga-ting, who won last month’s Polish Open, an international challenge series, put up a brave fight before going down 21-13, 23-21 to seventh seeds Pearly Tan and Muralitharan Thinaah of Malaysia.
After losing a disappointing first game, the Hong Kong pair improved in the second and pushed their rivals hard in the closing stages. They took a 20-19 lead before losing 23-21 after deuce.
“They are still young and lack the exposure in a big event like this, but overall their performance wasn’t too disappointing,” said the coach.
Another Hong Kong combination, Ng Tsz-yau and Tsang Hiu-yan, were beaten 21-7, 21-13 by Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan in a quick-fire match.