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Mixed doubles on BAM's mind (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 917

THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) has not been giving much emphasis on the mixed doubles but the event is now being viewed seriously as a possible medal-winning event for the 2012 London Olympics.

This is the reason why BAM didn't rush into naming the potential medallists to the Sports Ministry steering committee for the 2012 London Olympics and will only do so later next year.
NADZMI SALLEH
The mixed doubles squad was formed in 2007 by Rexy Mainaky and slow progress has prompted a reshuffle recently.

So far, Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin has been producing decent results and the new pairings such as Fairuzizuan Tazari-Wong Pei Tty, Razif Latif-Woon Khe Wei and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are likely to be involved in a qualification battle for the London Games.
 

US Calls Iranian Refusal to Admit Badminton Team Unfortunate (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 446
The State Department is calling an Iranian decision not to provide visas to a U.S. women's badminton team an unfortunate situation that does not bode well for further people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. The development came amid an Obama administration review of U.S. Iran policy.

Officials here say the paperwork for the U.S. team's visit to Iran had been submitted on time, and the Iranian government's failure to issue visas for the American athletes and coaches is a setback for efforts to advance non-governmental U.S.-Iranian contacts.
US doubles Eva Lee (l) and Mesinee Mangkalakiri and Germany's Julianne Schenk and Kathrin Piotrowski in a 2008 match in Indonesia, (File)

The State Department said Monday the 12-member U.S. delegation was en route to Tehran at the invitation of the Iranian Badminton Federation to take part in an annual international competition.

The team had been scheduled to travel to Iran from Dubai, but is now returning home after the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the team could not participate because of a lack to time to process the visas.

Despite the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries there have been several sports and cultural exchanges in recent years.

The badminton visit had attracted heavy attention because it was to have been the first under the Obama administration, which is reviewing U.S. policy toward Iran.

At a news briefing, State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood said it is hard to say what prompted Iranian authorities to renege on admitting the Americans, but that it is a very unfortunate situation amid hopes the troubled bilateral relationship can improve.

 

Lydia hoping to make main draw in All-England championships

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 570

KUALA LUMPUR: Lydia Cheah used to dream about playing in the All-England badminton competition during her junior days a couple of years back.

Now that it has become a reality, the lanky shuttler is determined to cherish every moment of her trip to the third-leg of the Super Series, which will be held in Birmingham from March 3-8.

The 20-year-old Lydia and Julia Wong are the only two Malaysian representatives in the women’s singles event of the All-England following the absence of Wong Mew Choo, who is working hard to recover from her knee and elbow injuries.

Lydia will begin her campaign in the qualifying tournament while Julia will start from the main draw.Target set: Lydia wants to make the main draw of the All-England tournament.

 

Follow Nicol’s footsteps, Misbun tells Chong Wei

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 08 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 941

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s top squash woman player Nicol David has accomplished it. Now, men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei has been challenged to do the same.

Yesterday, national singles coach Misbun Sidek wants Chong Wei to maintain his ranking as the world No. 1 for at least one year.

Chong Wei has been holding on to the position since winning a silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in August. However, he is expected to be strongly challenged for the top spot this year.

Misbun said it would be another achievement for Chong Wei if he could maintain the spot for a year.

“No badminton player has ever done it before. Previously, (Mohd) Roslin (Hashim) and Rashid (Sidek) attained the No. 1 status but they only held it for a short while,” said Misbun.

“It will not be easy for Chong Wei to maintain it, not with China boasting of several good singles players — especially Lin Dan, Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai.

“The China players will resume playing in international tournaments, starting with the All-England, after a three-month break. Lin Dan will probably be Chong Wei’s closest rival to regain the top spot.

 

Chong Wei wary of dark horse Chunlai at All-England (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 08 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 418

KUALA LUMPUR: China’s Bao Chunlai may turn out to be an early spoiler for Malaysia’s world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei in the All-England, which will be held in Birmingham from March 3-8.

Chunlai, who has dropped out of the top 10 rankings in the world, will be unseeded and could be pitted against any of the top players in the opening round when the draw is released on Feb 17.

The All-England is the first tournament for the lanky Chunlai since his semi-final finish in the China Super Series in September.

China did not send their players to any international tournaments for the last three months in a bid to give more emphasis on polishing up their game at home.

Having failed to make the final at the All-England the last six times, Chunlai will surely be motivated to give it his all this time around — especially since his team-mates Lin Dan and Chen Jin had tasted victory before.

Lin Dan won the All-England in 2004, 2006 and 2007 while Chen Jin, who is junior to Chunlai, clinched the title last year.For remembrance: Chong Wei handing over a portrait of him with the silver medal to Tunku Imran to be placed at the Sports Museum as Prof Khoo looks on. — RAYMOND OOI / The Star