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All roads for Chong Wei lead to Lin Dan

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 25 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 870

WORLD No 1 Lee Chong Wei, who avoided China's top shuttlers in the All England, will face almost similar opposition for a second week running in the Swiss Open, while Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have a tricky path in Basel on March 10-15.

Chong Wei has Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand and Dane Peter Gade Christensen as obstacles in his path to the final of the All England which begins in Birmingham on Tuesday, and will have those familiar names in his way again in Basel.

But there is an additional threat in the shape of Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, whom the top seed will meet in the quarter-finals, instead of Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who he is expected to meet at the same stage in Birmingham.

Chong Wei begins his campaign in Basel against Japan's Kenichi Tago before a showdown against Boonsak. Victory would pit him against Taufik before a semi-final clash with Christensen.

Should Chong Wei clear all the obstacles, second seed Lin Dan of China is likely to be his opponent in the final.
KLRC Berhad's Lee Tsuen Seng and Sairul Amar Ayub, and former national player Wong Choong Hann are the other Malaysians who will see action in the Swiss Open.

Tsuen Seng opens accounts against Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong and is likely to meet Christensen in the second round while Sairul has the misfortune of meeting Christensen in the first round.
 

Excess weight hampering Zakry-Fairuz's preparation

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 25 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 692

OLYMPIC champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan could skip the March 3-8 All England Championships but Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari, who have been drawn to meet the Indonesians in the semi-finals, are not too excited about the news.

Reason being, the Malaysians, after a lengthy absence from the international arena, are racing against time to lose weight. Zakry and Fairuz each need to lose 1.5kg before they board the flight to Birmingham.

The World No 6 pair have been absent since the Super Series Masters last December due to Zakry's knee injury, and Fairuz said he and his partner are on a diet plan.

"We have been training hard and our on-court understanding is excellent. We gained weight because of the long absence but it is not a problem," said Fairuz in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"My weight is 72kg and it's above my ideal weight. It is the same for Zakry. It's important to lose our excess baggage in order to excel in the All England.
"We are on a special diet of less carbohydrates and should return to our ideal weight by next week."

Fairuz also said he and Zakry will need to be at their best to make an impact in the All England.

"We will have a strong chance of making the final if Markis-Hendra decide to skip the event. Our draw is reasonably good until the semi-finals so we should get there." Fairuz added.
 

Fairuz out to double effort (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 25 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 904

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Fairu­zizuan Mohd Tazari will feature in the mixed doubles again with Wong Pei Tty after a lapse of two years but it is in the men’s doubles with Mohd Zakry Latif that he will be gunning for glory in the All-England in Birmingham next week.

In the mixed doubles, Fairuzi­zuan-Pei Tty will have to earn their place in the main draw from the qualifying tournament.

Fairuzizuan teamed up with Pei Tty to win the bronze medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Their last tournament was the Asian Badminton Championships in 2007.

He has to put in extra effort on court and in physical training to sustain a high level of fitness to play dual roles but he is not complaining.Flashback: Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Wong Pei Tty in action at the Singapore Open in this 2007 file picture. The duo will be teaming up again for the All-England next week.

“The South Koreans play the mixed doubles as well and it keeps them sharp,” said Fairuzizuan.

“The men’s doubles is still my priority but I have been training regularly in the mixed doubles as well. The draw for the All-England mixed doubles is relatively quite okay. We can get into the main draw and there is a chance for us to reach the quarter-finals.”

Making the tournament proper will give them a first-round match against another qualifying pair and they have Thailand’s Sudket Pra­pakamol-Saralee Thoung­thong­­­­kam next in the path.

 

Arvind and Sayali triumph (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 948

INDORE: Dreams fulfilled. Dreams dashed. That, in essence, was the theme of the final day’s proceedings in the singles events as the 73rd edition of the national badminton championship threw up two new champions — Arvind Bhat in the men’s and Sayali Gokhale in the women’s — here on Wednesday.WAIT IS OVER: It was fifth time lucky for Arvind Bhat in the National badminton championship on Wednesday.

Before a moderate gathering at the Abhay Prashal indoor stadium, the contests were a let down in terms of quality —which was understandable as four tense players were chasing their dreams of a maiden title — but not in intensity. For P. Kashyap and the exciting talent from Kerala, P.C. Thulasi, it has to be a wait till next time.

“Seven years ago, I lost from a match point situation (against Abhinn Shyam Guptga) and I did not realise it would require four more finals to achieve this,” said the freshly crowned 29-year old National champion. “He needed to be calmed,” said Vimal Kumar, who had taken on the role of a coach for Bhat. “He has been losing too many times from strong positions.”

A popular winner

With fans running in from all over to congratulate him, Bhat surely was a popular winner as he struggled to disentangle from his supporters and complete the prize ceremony, for he was in a hurry to catch a flight for his next assignment abroad.

Kashyap played with great determination. Handy leads in both games made it look like the little fellow was on his way to another famous victory after downing Anup Sridhar on Tuesday. But Bhat’s experience thwarted Kashyap’s ideas.

The change of pace, crisp placements and the judicious smashes wrecked Kashyap’s approach. A couple of line calls disturbed Kashyap, the second when he was trailing 14-18 in the second game. But, by then Kashyap was fighting a losing battle. Nothing symbolised his anguish more than the way he conceded the final point — the shuttle balancing ever so gently on the net before falling over to his own side.

Memorable win
 

Chong Wei warned against complacency

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 929

NATIONAL coach Misbun Sidek, despite saying Lee Chong Wei is a good bet to make the final, has nonetheless warned his protege against complacency when facing Lu Yi of China and Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the preliminary rounds of the All England in Birmingham on March 3-8.

Chong Wei, the World No 1, opens against Lu Yi before an expected second round clash with Boonsak.

Misbun has been impressed with Lu Yi's improvement of late while Boonsak is an experienced campaigner who beat Chong Wei in the third round of the Asian Badminton Championships in Johor Baru last year.

Chong Wei beat Lu Yi in the quarter-finals of the French Open last year -- their only meeting to date -- and has has a 6-1 win-lose record against Boonsak.
 

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