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Malaysia's Challenge Ends At Swiss Open Badminton Meet

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s challenge at the 2017 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton Tournament fizzled out after the only players standing, Vivian Hoo Kah Mun/Woon Khe Wei, lost in the quarter-finals match late Friday (Saturday in Malaysia).

Third seeded pair Hoo/Woon suffered an upset after losing 18-21, 21-8 and 15-21 to the seventh seeds, Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen of Denmark, in the women’s doubles event of the tournament held at the St Jakobshalle Indoor Arena near Basel, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website, www.bwfbadminton.org.

Malaysia’s challenge in three other events – the men’s singles and doubles and the women’s singles – fizzled out after the players were defeated by their respective opponents in the preliminary round. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying followed national singles ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei into the All England Badminton Championships finals in Birmingham tomorrow.

The duo swept aside Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino from Japan, 21-17, 21-15 in straight sets at the Barclays Arena, Saturday.

They are set to face Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong of China, who beat England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock 19-21, 21-12, 22-20.

Earlier, Chong Wei beat Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 10-21, 21-14, 21-9 to edge closer towards a fourth All-England title. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: National shuttler Lee Chong Wei is out of the All-England badminton championships in Birmingham from March 7-12 after picking up an injury during training.

On Monday, national coach Hendrawan confirmed that the world No 1 tore the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) on his left knee.

The 34-year-old Chong Wei slipped and fell on the brand new badminton mat placed on the courts at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara on Saturday.

The national team moved to the new national training centre on Tuesday last week.

Hendrawan said that it was a disappointing start to the season for the three-time Olympic silver medallist.

“He was so fired up for training after the Chinese New Year but now he is injured. It’ll take three to six weeks for him to recover,” said Hendrawan.

“He’s out of the All-England for sure. At this age, one of the big challenges is injury. We hope he’ll recover,” he added.-The Star Online


PETALING JAYA – Men’s doubles shuttlers Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are just one step away from ending the year on a high.

On Saturday, the world No. 1 pair put up a fabulous show to beat Chai Biao-Hong Wei of China 21-18, 21-16 in just 37 minutes to reach the men’s doubles final at the World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

They will take on Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in the final on Sunday.

Takeshi-Keigo dumped Mads Conrad-Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 21-17, 21-19 in a convincing 50-minute men’s doubles semi-final.

National doubles coach Jeremy Gan said the final match could go down the wire.

“It’ll be a tough match. The Japanese pair won the Hong Kong Open last month and are in good form here. It could go either way,” said Jeremy.

“Our pair have to stay focused. The record is 1-1 between them and hopefully, our pair will pull through,” he said.

Japan also enjoyed a good day in the women’s doubles when Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi reached the final and set up a meeting with China’s promising pair Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan.

Viktor Axelsen kept the flag flying high for Denmark when he crushed Son Wan-ho of South Korea 21-17, 21-19 in 55 minutes to reach the men’s singles final.

The 21-year-old Axelsen, who defeated Lee Chong Wei a day ago, will face Tian Houwei of China.


Men’s singles: Tian Houwei (Chn) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-17, 19-21, 21-13; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Son Wan-ho (Kor) 21-17, 21-19.

Men’s doubles: Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) bt Mads Conrad-Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding (Den) 21-17, 21-19; Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong bt Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) 21-18, 21-16.

Women’s singles: Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) bt Sun Yu (Chn) 21-19, 21-19; Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-15, 18-21, 21-15.

Women’s doubles: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) bt Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-12, 21-11; Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) bt Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 23-21, 22-20.

Mixed doubles: Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock (Eng) bt Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (Ina) 21-19, 17-21, 21-9; Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) bt Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-14, 21-18. – The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s singles player Zulfadli Zulkiffli played better than the other foreign competitors, but still struggled to advance to round two of the French Open badminton championship.

Zulfadli, now ranked 33rd in the world, defeated Huang Yuxiang from China in 24-22, 12-21 and 22-20, taking one hour 13 minutes, early today at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris.

In the second round today at 5.45pm local time (Malaysia is ahead of France by six hours, Zulfadli is scheduled to meet Son Wan Ho of South Korea after the sixth seeded beat Lin Yu Hsien of Taiwan in 21-19 and 21-14.

However, national second singles player Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and national professional player Chong Wei Feng, failed to advance to the second round after losing to their opponents last night.

In addition for Malaysia, world number one player Datuk Lee Chong Wei pulled out of the French Open on Wednesday after failing to recover from a hamstring muscle injury picked up at the Denmark Open last week.

Also advancing to the second round are national mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing who will meet second seeded Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto of Indonesia.

Kian Meng and Pei Jing had earlier beaten English pair Ben Lane-Jessica Pugh in 21-19 and 21-16 in the first round on Tuesday. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian professional shuttler Liew Daren continued his smashing performance by advancing to the last four of the Taiwan Masters Grand Prix Badminton Championship held at the Hsing Chuang Gymnasium in Taipei, today.

The 29-year-old, who is a former national shuttler, whitewashed Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia; winning in 11-8, 11-3 and 11-2 in the quarterfinals of the tournament which uses the 11 points scoring format, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website;www.bwfbadminton.org.

Daren will meet the hosts shuttler Lin Yu Hsien in the semifinals tomorrow. Lin, the fifth seed, defeated compatriot Hsueh Hsuan Yi;11-6, 6-11,11-6 and 11-6 in another quarterfinals match.

Another ex-national player, Tan Chun Seang, however, was knocked out from the tournament after losing 11-6, 4-11, 15-13, 5-11 and 9-11 to the top seed, Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan.

Two national women’s doubles pair also made it to the last four after edging out their respective opponents.

Unseeded pair Lim Yin Loo/Yap Cheng Wen pulled off a suprise after knocking out the second seeds, Poon Lok Yan/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong;11-5, 11-9 and 11-4 while Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean scored a hard-fought 15-14,13-11, 9-11, 9-11 and 11-9 win against Ayako Sakuramoto/Yukiko Takahata of Japan.

The country’s challenge in the women’s singles,however, fizzled out after the only player left standing, Tee Jing Yi, the second seed, lost 6-11, 7-11 and 6-11 to fifth seeded Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.

For the record, Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s doubles ended yesterday after the only pair left standing, Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub/Jagdish Singh lost in the second round.

Malaysia did not send any representatives in the mixed doubles event in the tournament which offers total prize money of US$55,000 (RM230,715). – BERNAMA

Chong Wei

KUALA LUMPUR – World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei will compete in four Super Series and Premier Super Series tournaments to maintain his position as the world number one.

The four tournaments are the Denmark Premier Super Series from Oct 18-23; French Super Series (Oct 25-30), China Open Premier Super Series (Nov 15-20) and Hong Kong Open Super Series (Nov 22-27).

Chong Wei, a three times Olympics Games silver medallist said he would be facing a tight schedule in the coming months.

“After winning the Japan Open Super Series last month, I did not compete in the Korean Open Super Series. That gave me time to come home for a three-week break to work on my fitness.

“I heard China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long will not be playing in the Denmark Open and French Open but that will be no reason to relax on my preparations for the tournaments,” said Chong Wei.

Nonetheless, China will still have two formidable youngsters, Qiao Bin, 23, and Shi Yuqi, 20, in Denmark to pose a threat to Chong Wei and the rest.

Chong Wei acknowledged that the presence of the two youngsters would further add to the challenge as both have emerged as strong opponents although the world number one had beaten both of them in the Japan Open.

In the second round of the Japan Open, Chong Wei beat Qiao Bin 21-8, 21-16 and disposed Shi Yuqi 21-12, 21-12 in the quarterfinals.

“I must be cautious when facing the two young stars from China,” he said.

Qian Bin had pulled off an upset by beating South Korea’s Son Wan Ho 21-11, 21-23, 21-7 in the Korean Open Super Series final last Sunday to underline his emergence as a replacement to the ageing Lin Dan.

Meanwhile, Chong Wei earlier received the honorary commander of the Royal Malaysian Navy Volunteer Reserve (PSSTLDM) award from the Royal Malaysian Navy chief Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman.

The award was in recognition of Chong Wei’s success at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics recently. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s singles player, Goh Soon Huat today failed to get past the qualifying round of the Japan Open Super

Soon Huat,26, lost 15-21, 17-21 to Riichi Takeshita of Japan, who took only 46 minutes to book his place in the prestigious badminton tournament.

Tomorrow, national singles ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who is the first seed in th tournament, will play against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.

Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, who is making his third appearance in the Super Series tournament, will come up against H.S Prannoy of India.

Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, who are seeded fifth in the men’s doubles event, will face Bodin Isara-Nipitphon Phuangphuapet of Thailand.
National women’s doubles, Vivian Ho-Woon Khe Wei will take on Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara of Japan while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will face Matthew Nottingham-Emily Westwood of England in the mixed doubles. -BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: Can you imagine Lee Chong Wei taking on Lin Dan for the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Well, don’t bet against it … especially if the Badminton World Federation (BWF) decide to change the best-of-three 21-point scoring format to the 11-point best-of-five system.

If they do, world No. 1 Chong Wei, who settled for a third Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro last month, believes that it would be possible for him to extend his career.

“Nothing is confirmed yet, but if there is indeed a change I could very well compete at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Chong Wei.

“Even Lin Dan might play on as the 11-point system would mean shorter matches … which is better for senior players like us.

“We certainly have the experience. Playing in shorter matches is definitely better because I believe we can control the shuttlecock better.”

Chong Wei, who turns 34 next month, also admitted that “it is possible for me to represent Malaysia at the 2018 Thomas Cup”.

“I’m still in good physical condition and I have no issues training under Hendrawan and (Tey) Seu Bock as I prepare for the World Championships next year,” said Chong Wei.

“I still have lots to learn from Hendrawan, who is a former world champion himself.

“Beyond that, if my condition is still good, I don’t see why I can’t represent Malaysia for one more Thomas Cup.”

For now though, the Penangite is just focused on his next assignment – the Japan Open in Tokyo from Sept 20-25.

It will be Chong Wei’s first tournament since losing to Chen Long in the Olympic final last month.

Chong Wei, who has won the Japan Open five times – 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 – is the top seed and faces Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the first round.

He is expected to cruise into the quarter-finals, where he is likely to meet Indonesian seventh seed Tommy Sugiarto.

National No. 2 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli are the other singles shuttlers in the fray.

World No. 26 Iskandar is up against India’s H.S. Prannoy in the first round while world No. 35 Zulfadli will begin with a clash against Denmark’s world No. 11 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

KUALA LUMPUR: National badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s chance to beat his nemesis Lin Dan in the men’s singles semi-final match is brighter if the current performance becomes the yardstick.

Former national coach Rashid Sidek said on Friday that the world number one should be alert of the psychological game that would be used by Lin Dan.

“Both of these players have almost the same playing style, but Chong Wei must be careful with various tricks that will be used by his arch rival,” said the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist to Bernama. – Bernama