ALL ENGLAND 2012 R16 – Liew Daren makes a name for himself

For his maiden All England, Malaysia’s Liew Daren made it to the quarter-final of the event after beating Rajiv Ouseph of England. He joins fellow compatriot Lee Chong Wei, who […]

For his maiden , Malaysia’s Liew Daren made it to the quarter-final of the event after beating Rajiv Ouseph of England. He joins fellow compatriot Lee Chong Wei, who had to battle hard against Vittinghus, and Lin Dan.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

No one would likely have bet on Liew Daren (photo) as one of the potential quarter-finalists of his first ever Yonex All England Championships. At least,  not the Malaysian media, which had been quite tough on the overall generation behind Lee Chong Wei, often blaming their national Federation for not coming up with younger talents.

You guys helped me get even more motivated,” joked Liew Daren while answering questions to his local media, who admitted to him they didn’t think the young shuttler would reach this stage of the prestigious event.

But Liew Daren fought his way to the quarter-final brilliantly. First by edging out two serious competitors in the qualifications, then Boonsak Ponsana in straight games, and then, on Thursday, lucky enough not to face Peter Gade, he played some of his best badminton to beat Rajiv Ouseph (photo) in straight games 21-15, 21-10.

I even surprised myself with my performance. I’m very happy with my game today,” said the 24-year-old Liew, who best Super Series result so far is the quarter-final stage of the Malaysia Open a few years ago.

I never expected to reach the quarter-final here, but I have gotten better with my fighting spirit these past few months. And Chong Wei has been helping me with tips, regarding how to cope with pressure and other things,” said the Malaysian, who will take on Lee Hyun Il next. “I beat him last time we played, but I’m sure he’ll be ready for me tomorrow. I’ll just go back and watch some videos to prepare for the match. I never believed I would go so far, but now I believe I have my chances to enter the semi-final,” he added. If he does, he could be facing Lee Chong Wei…

Chong Wei confirms he’s in for another year

The world number (photo) one had to dig deep to get rid of an impressive Hans-Kristian Vittinghus – last man standing for Denmark as all other men’s singles had been defeated in the first round. The Dane showed that his great run against Lin Dan in the German Open was no fluke as he once again pushed one of the best shuttlers of all time to extra points, scooping one game point in the first game before bowing finally 21-23 and 18-21.

I am not far from these top players and I should be satisfied with my game, of course. I’ve come a long way since last year, but I think I could have deserved to play a third game,” said the Dane.

Lee Chong Wei took time to answer reporters’ questions about his future as well. “This tournament is a build-up towards the Olympics. This is what I’m targeting this year, of course. Last year’s World Championships was really tough to get over as I may never have the chance to win this title again, but it sunk in and now, after the Malaysian and Korea Open successes, I feel confident again. But no matter what, I will give a shot to next year’s World Championships,” said the world’s number one. Before that, he is to take on Indonesia’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (photo) who edged Sho Sasaki in straight games 21-17, 21-17.

Lin Dan also made it to the last eight after a victory over Chong Wei Feng 21-13, 21-16. Taufik and Chen Jin were to battle later in the evening for a spot in the quarters as well.  In case of victory, the Chinese Ace would be facing Lin Dan in the quarter, and potentially Chen Long in the semi-final.

Red card sends Koo/Tan packing

The evening was not all bright for Malaysia after their best men’s doubles pair was sent off after a controversial call from the umpire of their match against China’s Hong and Shen. The four players performed an outstanding match-up before they got even at 20-20. Koo and Tan (photo) misinterpreted the umpire’s gesture to forbid them to take a break and were given a yellow card, then, a few seconds later, a red card for going once again back to their bags to wipe their faces while the floor was being mopped. The scored moved to 21-20 in favour of the Chinese. The service was handed over and the Chinese went on to win the match – a shame for the show which had been great until the controversial cards.

This means the long-awaited clash between the Malaysians and Korea’s Lee and Jung won’t happen, but instead, the Koreans will get a rematch of their German Open final against Hong and Shen as China scoops three spots in the quarter-final in an event they usually have only one or two involved at this stage. Cai and Fu and Chai/Guo are the other two pairs in the quarters.

England will have at least one pair on quarter-finals day as Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier once again rose to the occasion and once again beat their opponents of the day 21-19 in the last game – this time, Korea’s Yoo and Jang. They’ll take on Goh and Chan of Malaysia in the quarter-finals.

All results HERE

Click here for live streamed coverage of the All England from the BWF’s Youtube channel

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Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.