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Tago in high spirits after Korean Open (pic)

Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 4698

BUKIT JALIL: World No. 5 Kenichi Tago of Japan believes that he is his greatest enemy.

The industrious yet stylish Tago came close to winning his first Super Series title last year but fell in the final of the French Open to Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen.

The Chiba native’s confidence took a blow and he ended the year on a low – twice losing to Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto and failing to make the final of the Super Series Finals last month.Kenichi Tago: 'My goal this year, though, is to be the top of the others closing in, and to get closer to Chen Long’s level first.'

But after exacting revenge on world No. 3 Jorgensen in the quarter-finals of the Korean Open last week, Tago believes that the morale boosting semi-final finish is a good start to the year.

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Japan out to prove they are a force to be reckoned with (pic)

Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 3467

BUKIT JALIL: A fantastic showing by the men’s doubles shuttlers at the Korean Open last week, has raised Japan’s hope of putting in another strong challenge to the more fancied teams in the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May.

Last week, their world No. 6 Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa went down fighting 20-22, 20-22 to eventual champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the semi-finals. Keita Masuda: ' If our players can maintain their form until April, we may get a better seeding than Malaysia or Indonesia for the (Thomas Cup) Finals.'

Their younger compatriots Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda, the world No. 15th, dumped second seeds Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang of South Korea in the opening round.

National coach Keita Masuda believes they have enough depth to challenge all the teams, including Malaysia at the Finals.

“Our senior and junior doubles players did well at the Korean Open and that augurs well ahead of the world team competition. We have strong men’s singles and doubles this time,” he said.

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Taking a look at Malaysia's future stars (pic)

Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 3470

Target: World Championships and Olympic Games (2016-2020)Soong Joo Ven, 18, is a hardworking shuttler and a good team player. He has the makings of a champion.

Name: Misbun Ramdan Misbun
DOB: 3/1/1991 (23 years old)
World ranking: 44
Assessment: Probably should not have left the national setup after winning the national title in 2012. Ramdan however has matured significantly and has been in good physical form too. He is also cool and calm like his father, Misbun Sidek. At 23, he should peak earliest compared to the rest.

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Saina keen to get back to winning at Malaysian Open (pic)

Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 3034

BUKIT JALIL: Comebacks are easier said than done.

This is the reality that India’s Saina Nehwal is facing as she looks to rediscover her form that won her country’s first badminton bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics Games.Saina Nehwal in a file photo. After a year of not winning any titles and a dip in form, she is hoping to start winning again.

The 24-year-old skipped the season-opening Korean Open due to fitness issues and will begin her campaign in the main draw of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Wednesday.

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Ivanov easily sails into main draw (pic)

Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 2602

BUKIT JALIL: Russian Vladimir Ivanov had only five hours of sleep before playing in the qualifiers.

However, that did not stop the tall and valiant Ivanov from making it to the main draw of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday. Even with a lack of sleep, Russian Vladimir Ivanov won both his Maybank Malaysian Open qualifying matches to make it to the main draw where he will face Japan's Kenichi Tago.

The 26-year-old won his two qualifying matches – beating Malaysia’s Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif 10-21, 21-12, 23-21 and Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-16, 21-17 – to set up a match against Japan’s Kenichi Tago.

“Both matches were hard for me as I only had five hours of sleep after arriving in Malaysia at 2am. Thankfully, I did not fall asleep on the courts today,” joked Ivanov.

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