Daren stuns Srikanth to make World Champs last eight

Nicolas Anil

Liew Daren produced one of the shocks of the BWF World Championships after he turned on another sensational performance to down India’s K. Srikanth 21-18, 21-18 and progress to the men’s singles quarterfinals on Thursday.

The 39th ranked Daren had a fantastic start to the tournament after he slayed Indonesia’s promising youngster Jonatan Christie in the first round.

Against the world number six Srikanth, the Malaysian only needed 41-minutes to claim another big scalp win and qualify to the last eight.

His chances making the semifinals look good too, as he will come up against Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama.

“I have dreamt of making it this far. I have even dreamt of winning it. But it’s about doing the right thing. Kanta will be the favourite tomorrow, but I will play without fear,” said Daren.

Daren had spoken about making an impact in this tournament, especially after Datuk Lee Chong Wei pulled out at the last minute due to respiratory problems.

“When Chong Wei pulled out, it was as if Malaysia had no representative in this event anymore. It was as tough I didn’t exist,” Daren told The Star after his win over Jonatan.

Fret not Daren.

The whole country has taken notice, and will be fully behind you when you take to court on Friday.

The national contingent also enjoyed another good outing in the doubles events.

Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were made to toil for 71-minutes before overcoming English pair Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith 21-16, 17-21, 21-18.

The eighth seeds will now face Hong Kong pair Tan Chung Man-Tse Ying Suet for a place in the last four.

The other upset came from the men’s doubles, when unseeded Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik did well to banish Danish eighth seeds Kim Astrup-Andres Skaarup Rasmussen 21-18, 21-16.

Aaron-Soh, who were last minute inclusions in this tournament due to some withdrawals, will now face China’s Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in the semifinals.

Li -Liu were taken to the wire against Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong before prevailing 16-21, 21-15, 22-20.

It was also the end of the road for women’s doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, who lost 21-18, 21-13 to Indonesia’s Greysia Polli-Apriyani Rahayu.

Mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai also crashed out after a 20-22, 21-14, 21-6 loss to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa.

In the women’s singles, Goh Jin Wei found Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara too hot to handle and lost 23-21, 21-13.


Photo Credit: NST