KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's veteran pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah cleared the first round in the Proton Malaysian Open badminton championships but it was the first round losers – Gan Teik Chai-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif – who stole the show yesterday.

Youngsters Teik Chai-Zakry, who failed to qualify for the world meet, battled for 75 minutes against top seed Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto of Indonesia before going down valiantly 8-15, 15-11, 15-17.

“We came so close to notch our biggest career win but we let is slip through our hands,” said Zakry.

“Both of us (Gan and I) have really improved over the last seven months since we teamed up. Despite the defeat, we are satisfied with our game. It was one of our best matches.”

It was however, a good day for Tan Fook-Wan Wah, who are competing in only their second international tournament since the Athens Olympic Games last year.

Yesterday, the duo continued their winning streak against the Athens Olympics bronze medallists Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian of Indonesia 17-16, 15-12 to set up a meeting with Alven-Luluk.

National doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock was happy with the players’ performances.

“Tan Fook-Wan Wah are playing better (the duo lost in the first round at the Singapore Open last week). Wan Wah however, is still slower and there is still a lot of room for improvement,” said Kim Hock.

“Teik Chai and Zakry played well. Their defence and attacking was good but their service needs to be polished. I am glad even our fifth ranked pair can give the top pairs a fight,” he added.