TheStar MArch 30 JOHOR BARU: Top seed and hot favourite Lee Chong Wei, a reluctant participant in the Asian Badminton Championships, took only 15 minutes to rip through Wong Keng Hou of Macau 21-4, 21-6 in his men’s singles opening match at the Bandaraya Indoor Stadium here yesterday. Given a choice, Chong Wei would have preferred to skip the championships to concentrate on his preparations for the Thomas Cup Finals in Japan from April 28-May 7. However, chief coach Yap Kim Hock wanted him to play and get used to the new rally scoring format (21 points, best of three games). EARLY EXIT: Wong Mew Choo scrambles to return the shuttlecock during her first round match against China’s Chen Li yesterday. Mew Choo lost 20-22, 11-21. – STARpic by ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG Despite his quick win yesterday, Chong Wei, the newly-crowned Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion, is still trying to come to grips with the new format. “This is only the third tournament where the new scoring system is being used. Frankly, I am not too comfortable with the system yet. I am still adjusting to the system ... and I have to change my playing style,” he said. Foo Kok Keong was the last Malaysian to win the ABC men’s singles crown in 1994. At last year’s championships in Hyderabad, Kuan Beng Hong made it into the final but was beaten 10-15, 5-15 by Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro. “I am using the ABC to get used to the new scoring system. I did not really want to play in this meet. I would have preferred to take some rest after the Commonwealth Games and then head for our last lap of preparations in Kuching for the Thomas Cup Finals. “However, the coach wanted me to come so that I would be better prepared for the Thomas Cup Finals. “I am not going to put any unnecessary pressure on myself although I am the top seed. The Thomas Cup is our target,” added Chong Wei. Chong Wei’s second round opponent is South Korea’s Lee Cheol-ho, who stopped India’s Rohan Castelino in the first round 21-9, 22-20. The Thomas Cup team will move their training base to Kuching, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, from April 5. Apart from Chong Wei, Beng Hong also cleared his first hurdle with comparative ease with a 21-5, 21-8 win over Paneru Pashupati of Nepal. He will play China’s Qiu Yanbo in the second round. Also through to the second round are Yeoh Kay Bin and K. Yogendran. However, Lee Tsuen Seng suffered another embarrassing exit in the first round when he lost 8-21, 22-20, 19-21 to P. Sapkulchananart of Thailand in 56 minutes. Meanwhile, second seed Mohd Hafiz Hashim also made a winning start, beating Nepal’s Balram Thapa 21-6, 21-8.