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KOREA OPEN: Chong Wei in cruise control

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 16 January 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 926

THE listless play of the first round was a thing of the past as Lee Chong Wei cruised into the quarter-finals of the Korea Open in Seoul yesterday.

Up next for him is local favourite Park Sung Hwan but if yesterday’s form is any indication, a place in the semi-finals belongs to the Malaysian.

Chong Wei was ruthless as he thrashed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-14, 21-9 in just 20 minutes.

It will be a repeat of the Malaysia Open final against Sung Hwan, who also had an impressive 21-12, 21-4 win over Japan’s Sho Sasaki in 21 minutes.

Sung Hwan will be seeking revenge but Chong Wei will be unperturbed as he has lost only lost once in nine meetings with the Korean.
However, World No 1 Chong Wei can’t expect to have it as easy as he did in the , the World No 1, had an easy 21-14, 21-13 win in the Malaysia Open final, today as but it won’t be that easy today as Sung Hwan will be looking to capitalise on home ground advantage.

National singles coach Rashid Sidek, in a telephone interview from Seoul, said Chong Wei has set a high standard for himself and must be ready to face the challenge.

“Chong Wei has the advantage in terms of past meetings and has just beaten him. (in the Malaysia Open). Chong Wei has set high standards and he must safeguard his reputation,” said Rashid.

“It is definitely going to be tougher this time as Sung Hwan will be banking on home ground advantage but as a top player, Chong Wei must be prepared to face challenges in every situation.

“Winning against Sung Hwan is almost certain to give him a place in the final as he only has to face either Chan Yan Kit (of Hong Kong) or (Poland’s Przemyslaw) Wacha in the last four.

“He played well in the second round today (yesterday) and the opponent wasn’t strong but it will be different in the quarter-finals.”
 

Our doubles players now show positive attitude

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 927

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei’s feat in winning the home Open for the fifth time was not the only highlight of the performances of the Malay­­­­sian shuttlers in the championships, which ended at the Putra Sta­­dium in Bukit Jalil here on Sunday.

It will also be remembered for the positive attitude showed by the doubles players even though none of the pairs got past the quarter-finals.

The elite doubles players, especially Tan Boon Heong, showed maturity while the many back-up pairs displayed strong fighting spirit. And the positive signs augur well for Malaysian badminton this year.

Boon Heong showed that he has stepped out of the shadows of his more illustrious partner, Koo Kien Keat, when he spoke with confidence on their quarter-final elimination by eventual champions Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung of South Korea.

He gave good analysis of the game. In the past, he would often stay mum and left the talking to the flamboyant Kien Keat.

National doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky was delighted with Boon Heong’s growing confidence.

“He is a more mature player now. He is a world-class player and knows what is expected from him. He is brave to voice his opinion. And that is really good,” said Rexy.

“Tan was the master and took many initiatives in the match against the Koreans. Koo lost a little of his magic touches. But both are looking more confident with their game now and with more work, they will be ready for the task ahead (All-England in Birmingham from March 3-9).”

 

Sony Not in Mood for Korea Open, Pulls Out

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 936

Indonesia’s hopes in the men’s singles in the Korea Open Super Series have suffered yet another blow.

The nation’s top shuttler, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, has decided to withdraw from the year’s second Super Series tournament, which runs Jan. 13-18 at the 2nd Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul.

Recurring hamstring injuries cost Sony, 24, the Denmark and France Super Series tournaments last year, a hammer blow coming on the heels of consecutive victories in Indonesia, Japan and China. Such injuries have plagued him throughout his career.

But Sony said fitness was not the main reason behind his withdrawal.

“I am not in good enough condition to play, and I am not in a good mood to play. It’s not because of my injury,” he said on Tuesday.

Sony was scheduled to start the Korea Open against Anand Chetand of India, who defeated him in the second round of the 2008 Denmark Super Series. Instead, he said he would now put his focus on the All England tournament, which takes place March 3-8 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

“I’ll prepare myself for the most prestigious Super Series tournament. I think two months of preparation will be enough,” he said. “I want to do my best there.”

 

Comeback hits a snag as Zakry’s knee acts up again

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 737

KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles player Mohd Zakry Latif was forced to cut short his first training session on return from injury after experiencing pain in his left knee at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara here yesterday.

Although his attempt at making a comeback was far from successful, it has not dampened his determination to make a full recovery by the time the All-England swings into action in early March.

Zakry, who partners Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari, first aggravated the injury during the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu last month and it forced the pair out of the just concluded Malaysian Open.

“Medical tests revealed that I have damaged my meniscus. It is not that serious but I have to take care not to aggravate it further,” said Zakry, who is currently ranked fourth in the world with Fairuzizuan.

“My condition is much better compared to when I tried to train during the week before the Malaysian Open.

“Today, I tried to keep up with the training session for the full two hours but had to give up half way as I started to feel pain again.

 

Korea Open: Chong Wei Struggles In Opening Match

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 14 January 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 881
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- Reigning world no 1 men's singles badminton shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei had to work extra hard to beat South Korea's Hong Ji Hoon in the first round of the Korea Open Super Series championship held at the 2nd Olympic Gymnasium, Bangi-Dong in Seoul, today.

In the three-set match which lasted 56 minutes, the 25-year-old Penangite took the first set 21-11 but went down 17-21 in the second to the 55th ranked opponent.

However, Chong Wei, clinched the Malaysian Open title last week, emerged victorious in the third set despatching the Korean in 21-15.

In the second round tommorow, Chong Wei, who is the top seed, will take on unseeded Tanongsal Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. The Thai had beaten Malaysian Pei Wee Chung in straight set 21-14, 21-11.

Besides Chong Wei, two national back up players also advanced to the second round.

Cheng Wei Feng outclassed South Korea's Kim Sa Rang 21-15, 21-12 while Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif defeated Anand Pawar of India 21-14, 21-15 in their respective first round matches.

In the second round, Wei Feng will face Indonesia's Simon Santoso who outplayed another Malaysian back-up player, Kuan Beng Hong, 21-13, 21-12, 21-12.
 

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