Malaysian mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai defied all odds, including what appeared an illness bout to Goh, upset top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai at the Indonesia Open.
Goh-Lai needed 69 minutes for the 21-18, 7-21, 22-20 victory against the Thais, a victory that needed several stoppages in the final game as Goh rushed to the sidelines several times and needed medical attention.
The pair had come down with food poisoning at the Indonesia Masters last week, and Goh had clearly not recovered fully.
Even though the pair led throughout the third game, victory did not seem forthcoming as the shuttler sank to the floor each time a rally had ended.
He mustered just enough energy to clinch the vital win with Lai and book a second round berth against fellow Malaysians Hoo Pang Ron-Teoh Ee wei who were also victorious in their opening round win.
Soong Joo Ven-Goh Liu Ying were also through after getting their first win as a pair after seeing off Hafiz Faizal-Serena Kani 21-13, 22-20.
In the men’s singles, Lee Zii Jia recovered from a lethargic start to beat Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin 21-15, 21-14 to set up a meeting against Sameer Verma next.
The men’s doubles category saw Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi win in straight games for a meeting against third seeds Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi, while Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien also won comfortably against their Brazilian opponents.
They next face Chinese pair Du Yue-Li Wen Mei in the next round.
The Malaysian shuttlers went into the Super 1000 event looking for a much improved performance after only Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah went the furthest by making the semi-finals.
The bout of food poisoning not only affected Goh, but quite a number of national shuttlers as well as those from Indonesia and Thailand.