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Olympic badminton star Gail Emms backs Birmingham schools project

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 455

I HAVE never so much as held a badminton racquet in my hand, so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to take on no less an opponent than Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms for my first attempt.

The opportunity arose as Gail, who finished runner-up with partner Nathan Robertson in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, was at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena encouraging local pupils to play the game.

Gail, who retired from the sport after finishing fifth in the mixed doubles at last year’s Beijing Olympics, was at the NIA to kick-start her role as an athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, ahead of the All England Open Badminton Championships which run till Sunday.

 

Tan Fook-Wan Wah good bet for world meet

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 855

LEE Wan Wah's chances of playing in his seventh World Championships in Hyderabad, India on Aug 10-15 should become a reality as long as he and partner Choong Tan Fook remain the top 24 of the world rankings until the qualifying period ends on April 30.

Tan Fook-Wan Wah, ranked World No 7, will see their world ranking drop after having withdrawn from the ongoing All England and Swiss Open next week, where they made the semis in both events last year, but should claim the third spot in the men's doubles although they are not part of the national team anymore.

A maximum of three pairs, if they are ranked in the top 24, are eligible for the World Championships and top two national pairs Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari have virtually secured their places.
 

All England Open Badminton Championships : China makes rapid start in bid to regain women’s title

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 428
BIRMINGHAM: China began its campaign to win back the All-England Open women’s singles title with two of its former winners making impressively comfortable starts.

Xie Xingfang, the fifth-seeded All-England champion of 2006 and 2007, showed much of her familiar light-footed movement and sharp-eyed alertness for an opening as she got past a Korean qualifier. Zhou Mi, the second-seeded 2003 All-England champion who these days represents Hong Kong, exuded calm and adaptability as she played her way into the tournament with an accelerating victory over a Malaysian lucky loser.
 

1-Badminton-Lin Dan sweeps through, rivals stutter

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 660

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - World and Olympic champion Lin Dan breezed through the first round of the All England tournament in Birmingham on Wednesday with a 21-13 21-14 victory over dangerous Indian Anup Sridhar.

Former Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat, All England titleholder Chen Jin and number one seed Lee Chong Wei all, however, dropped sets on their way to round two.

Second seed Lin was given a fright in the 2007 world championships by Sridhar, who stretched the Chinese all the way before yielding. The Indian also took a set off him in the first round of the All Englands in 2008.

There was to be no repeat this time, though, as Lin, seeking a fourth title in the tournament, rattled home in 31 minutes.

Earlier, Indonesia's Taufik, seeded seventh and intent on a first All England crown at the age of 27, dropped a set against Taiwan's unseeded Hsieh Yu Hsin but carried the day 21-19 15-21 21-14.

Chen, the surprise 2008 All England winner when he beat Lin in the final, was also taken to three before ousting Japan's Kenichi Tago 21-7 15-21 21-14.

World number one Lee lost the first set to China's Lu Yi but eventually came through 19-21 21-16 21-11.

In Thursday's second round the Malaysian plays unseeded German Marc Zwiebler. Lin faces experienced compatriot Bao Chunlai.

 

Boon Heong-Kien Keat want to regain title to bring cheer to coach Rexy

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 02 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 441

KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Tan Boon Heong can still picture the disappointment on the face of coach Rexy Mainaky after his failure together with Koo Kien Keat to retain the All-England men’s doubles title last year.

And he feels that the best way for them to make up for it is to regain the title to present Rexy an ideal birthday gift.

The All-England begins on Wednesday and Rexy will turn 41 just a day after the prestigious event in Birmingham on March 9.

Boon Heong, who won the title in his maiden appearance with Kien Keat in 2007, said that he had extra motivation to do well in his third outing in the All-England.

“Last year was not an easy year season for the men’s doubles department. Our coach has put in a lot of work to turn things around,” said Boon Heong.

“Once again, the All-England coincides with my coach’s birthday. Rexy said it was his best birthday gift when we won the title two years ago. We let him down last year and Kien Keat and I will do our best to bring him another big birthday cheer.”

Last year, they also failed to defend the Malaysia and Switzerland Open titles in the first half of the season, They then hit the comeback trail. They won the Macau Open in October and the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu in December.

The 22-year-old Boon Heong added that compared to previously, they were better prepared for the challenges in the All-England this time.

“I am more experienced and focused but at the same, I have also learnt to enjoy the game. Eveything falls into place when I take a more relaxed approach,” he said.