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Saina Nehwal wins world junior championship (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 November 2008
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 948
Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Sunday became the first Indian to clinch the World Junior Badminton Championship with a straight-game win in the finals here.

Top seed Saina got the better of her ninth seeded Japanese rival Sayaka Sato 21-9 21-18 in a lopsided match that lasted just 25 minutes.


"It is a great feeling to win it this time. The last time in 2006, I had lost in the finals but I am happy that I clinched the title this time," Saina, who reached the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics, said after the match.

"I never thought that I would play so well. The first game was easier but in the second game she was playing good smashed but I was successful in catching her on the nets. I played my back hands well and so overall I am satisfied with my performance. It was an okay sort of a match.

"However, I reckon my semifinals match against Chinese Shixian Wang as the toughest in the tournament," she added.

With the Commonwealth youth gold and the World Junior badminton title in her kitty, the world number 11 has now set her eyes on China and Hong Kong Open later this month.

"I am next playing China Open and Hong Kong open this month and I am confident of doing well there as well," the national champion said.

National coach Pullela Gopichand said Saina played like a champion all through the tournament.

"She played like a champion. It is good to see her wining convincingly through out the tournament. She has really done well, hats off to her," Gopichand said.
 
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China emigre Zhou Mi, rejoices in rise to top of world

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 November 2008
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 699
BEIJING - Rejuvenated badminton veteran Zhou Mi has set her sights on a world title after recapturing the number one ranking three years after being kicked off China's national team following a knee injury.

 

Twenty-nine year-old Zhou, who retired in 2006 but came back last year after switching allegiance to Hong Kong, took top spot after reaching the final of the Denmark Open last month.

"I want to show the fun of badminton to the Hong Kong fans and repay their support with the championship title," the Athens bronze medallist told China's Titan Sports.

Zhou, who was ineligible to play for Hong Kong at August's Beijing Olympics, said the disappointment of watching from the sidelines had contributed to her recent form, which has seen her clinch two titles from her last three starts.

"I was really upset when I knew I had no chance to play the Beijing Olympics. It powered me up in the tournaments after the Games," Zhou said.

 

Kim Hock takes a step back to develop game at grassroots (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 November 2008
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 612

KUALA LUMPUR: Many may view the transition of a national chief coach to a doubles coach at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) as a demotion.

But not Yap Kim Hock, who was the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) chief coach from 2004-2008.

As far as Kim Hock is concerned, he has just taken a step back to strengthen the game at the grassroots level out of his love and passion for the sport.

On Friday, the BAM approved a decision to appoint Kim Hock as the doubles coach in the BJSS set-up under the charge of chief coach Sun Chenhua.Brooding over youngsters: Yap Kim Hock (left) is focused on his new job as doubles coach in the BJSS set-up.

 

Rashid determined to up quality of men’s singles players

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 November 2008
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 749

KUALA LUMPUR: All hopes will be on the youngest Sidek brother — Rashid — to overcome the lack of quality men’s singles players in the national team.

And Rashid is determined to take up the challenge and add more depth to the squad.

His plan is to start afresh next year. He will start by giving more focus to the second echelon of national players to close the gap on the country’s top player Lee Chong Wei.

On Friday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) named Rashid and Rexy Mainaky as the head coaches of the men’s singles and doubles departments respectively.

 

Lin Dan back to haunt Chong Wei

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 05 November 2008
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1072

OLYMPIC champion Lin Dan will make his return to international badminton at the China Open in Shanghai on Nov 18-23 and this does not augur well for Lee Chong Wei as he continues to bid for his first title as World No 1.

Lin Dan, the second seed, has been absent from tournaments since defeating Chong Wei in the Beijing Olympics singles final in August.

Chong Wei, who is under tremendous pressure to maintain his World No 1 ranking, has failed to stamp his dominance in three recent tournaments.

He failed at the final hurdle of the Japan and Macau Opens, losing to Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro and former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, respectively.

Realising that Lin Dan would soon make a return, the 26-year-old Malaysian skipped the Denmark Open two weeks ago, to prepare for the just concluded French Open.
However, it did not have the desired effect as Chong Wei was again denied by Taufik, this time in the semi-finals in Paris.

Lin Dan will not be his only rival as the China Open has attracted many top shuttlers.
 
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