KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia's Luluk Hadiyanto and Alven Yulianto, the reigning Korean Open champions, are not coming for the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) after all. And that's good news for Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng.

In the Indonesians' absence, the Malaysians have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the ABC starting on Wednesday at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium.

Without Luluk-Alven, their teammates Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian, who are expected to challenge the Malaysians in the second round, have been promoted to the top half of the draw.

Now, Chong Ming and Choon Eng are expected to meet second seeds Sang Yang-Zheng Bo of China in the last eight. If they win, they will likely play South Koreans Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung in the semi-finals.

A good performance in the ABC will certainly boost Chong Ming-Choon Eng's race to win a place in the Athens Olympic Games. The duo are currently ranked 22nd in the world.

The top seeds are Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah. They are expected to play Indonesian Candra Wijaya-Halim Hariyanto in the quarter-finals.

If they make it to the last four, they may play either Flandi-Eng Hian or Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas of Thailand.


TheStar