It was to be a walk in the park for world number one Lee Chong Wei. But he somewhat struggled to subdue Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-15,21-17 at the Wembley Arena in London this morning.

It was a day of upsets otherwise and one of the biggest names to fall was Chen Long of China, the fifth seed in the men’s singles, who lost to Kevin Cordon of Guatemala 21-19, 8-21, 27-25.

“Every point was hard. In the last points it was very hard. I was a little bit nervous. It was my second time against this player. I was not thinking will I win or will I lose. I was just thinking I had to play my best,” said Kevin.

Also biting the dust was 15th seed Kenichi Tago of Japan who lost to Ajay Jayaram of India 21-12,21-19. And following suit was Hong Kong’s Yun Hu who lost to Denmark’s Hans Kristan Vittinghus 24-22,21-18.

The story of the day however is not about all the Malaysians who have played thus far making through, but the lack of thought to providing the Malaysian contingent suitable attire now that BAM has changed their sponsors from Proton to Maybank.
While it is believed that the players were given a few t-shirts to manage the tournament, some of the officials were seen with tracksuits zipped up to the top, and when asked why, sheepishly showed that they were still donning the old sponsors attire.
And worst still was the fact that the logos of some of the sponsors were merely pasted on, and as one coach took the sponsors logo of Astro out of his pocket to show how things were falling apart, so much similar to what was happening to Malaysian badminton.
Though Chong Wei stated at the post match press conference that he was getting used to the atmosphere, the playing conditions, the fact remains that he did not look as sharp as we are akin to.
But as Chong Wei put it, “ I always am a slow starter and that’s just how I play,” when asked by the hordes of media.
Doubles pair of Mohd Zakry Adul Latif/Hoon Thien How defeated Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan of United States 21-17,21-14.
The USA duo were a far cry from what they were as a pair in 2005 when they defied all odds to win the title and the Malaysian pair benefited from a series of errors, right from poor execution of the serve to uncharacteristic mistakes by Gunawan to move into the second round.

Women’s double pair of Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty also got off to a winning start as they defeated  England’s Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White 21- 14, 21-12.

Men’s Singles
Lee Chong Wei def Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thai) 21-15,21-17
Men’s Doubles
Mohd Zakry Adul Latif/Hoon Thien How def Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan (USA) 21-17,21-14

Chan Peng Soon/Lim Kim Wah lost to Adam Calwina/Michel Logoswz (Pol) 13-21,19-21

Women’s Doubles
Ng Hui Ern/Ng Hui Lin def Anna Kobceva/Elena Prus 21-14,22-20

Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty def Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White (Eng) 21- 14, 21-12

Mixed Doubles
Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying def Lino Munoz/Cynthia Gonzalez (Mex) 21-9.21-5