TheStar MArch 30 JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian girls, including Melbourne Commonwealth Games silver medallist Wong Mew Choo, went tumbling like tenpins in the women’s singles first round of the Yonex-Sunrise Asian Badminton Championships at the Bandaraya Indoor Stadium here yesterday. And it was left to M. Sutheaswari, who is not even under the Badminton Association of Malaysia banner or in the national squad, to bring some cheer when she beat Sri Lanka’s Thilini Sudhara Jayasinghe. Sutheaswari chalked up an easy 21-9, 21-11 win to advance to the second round. However, Sutheaswari is not expected to go much further as she comes up against Kaori Mori of Japan in the second round today. Mew Choo and company were up against much tougher opponents on the opening day. First to fall was Julia Wong who was beaten 14-21, 7-21 in only 25 minutes by Wang Chen of Hong Kong. She was followed by 17-year-old Lydia Cheah who did no better in her 9-21, 18-21 defeat by India’s Saina Nehwal. Saina won in 20 minutes. Much was expected from Mew Choo after her good showing in Melbourne. However, the Malaysian simply failed to lift her game against China’s Chen Li and collapsed dramatically in the first game after leading 20-14 to lose 20-22. It was all over in the second game when Chen Li raced to an 8-1 lead. With Mew Choo making mistake after mistake with her sideline smashes often going into the net, the Chinese romped to a 21-11 win. “I have never played against Chen Li before. But I’ve no excuses for the defeat. I was simply not able to focus on my game. I knew it was all over when I could not win the first game after leading 20-14 at one stage,” said Mew Choo. “People may say I am tired after the Commonwealth Games and that I was affected by my back injury. This is not true. I came to the championships fully prepared. “It is just too bad that I was not able to focus. I had come with high hopes. I wanted to make up for the disappointment of not winning the gold in Melbourne. As things turned out, it was another disappointment.” For Lydia, who made it to the main draw after going through two qualifying rounds, it was her second defeat to the Indian. “I still have a lot to learn. It was good experience in the ABC and hope it will stand me in good stead when I compete in the Jakarta Satellite meet next week,” said Lydia, who hopes to earn a place in the national team for the Junior Asian Championships to be held in Colombo later this year. Julia was unfortunate to be drawn against top seed Wang Chen who plays for Hong Kong now. The Chinese was in a class of her own.