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Choong Hann confident of great Copenhagen outing (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 December 2008
Written by Hits: 573

WONG Choong Hann's days as a top shuttler are over but the veteran is confident of making the final of the season-ending Copenhagen Masters which begins today.

Choong Hann is in Group B with local favourite Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark and the latter's compatriot Joachim Persson and recent results favour the Malaysian.

Christensen would be the biggest threat for Choong Hann but the Malaysian, having won their last two meetings, will fancy his chances.
Choong Hann defeated Christensen in the China Open last month and in the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu last week.

Chance for Lee and Koo-Tan to start season with a bang

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 December 2008
Written by Hits: 225

PETALING JAYA: Lee Chong Wei and the men’s doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have good chances to earn back-to-back titles at the Malaysian Open, which will be played at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Jan 6-11.

But it will be tough for the women’s pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty to follow suit.

Chong Wei, Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Eei Hui-Pei Tty were the champions in the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu last week.

Pei Tty-Chin Eei are the top seed for the first time in the Malaysian Open but they have tough opponents in China’s former world number one Zhang Jiewen-Yang Wei in their quarter of the draw.

Jiewen-Yang Wei are former Olympic and world champions and Pei Tty-Eei Hui will have to rise to the occasion to beat the vastly experienced pair, who have quit the national squad but are continuing to play on individual sponsorship.

If Pei Tty-Eei Hui manage to upstage the fifth-seeded Chinese pair, they are likely to earn a repeat clash of the Masters Finals final against Indonesian third seeds Vita Marissa-Lilyana Natsir.Tough Opener: Wong Choong Hann takes on Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the first round.


Chinese Players To Skip Malaysian Open As Well

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 December 2008
Written by Hits: 1014
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 (Bernama) -- Chinese players who snubbed the just concluded Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu have also decided to skip the US$200,000 (RM680,000) Malaysia Open, scheduled from Jan 6-11 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager Kenny Goh said the Badminton Association of China had informed BAM that their players would not compete in the 2009 season opening Super Series event.
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Smashing Saina gives a fillip to Indian badminton in 2008

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 December 2008
Written by Hits: 476
New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI) From being just another promising young shuttler to breaking into the world's top 10, the year gone by has seen the metamorphosis of Saina Nehwal into a sensation, whose exploits helped India rise up the world badminton chart.

Riding on her success story, Indian badminton enjoyed a steep-rise over the past few seasons to leave its mark on the world sporting canvass.

Keeping pace with her dreams, Saina had made her intent clear at the start of the year when she became the first Indian girl to enter a Super Series semi-final in Singapore Open before losing to Mi Zhou of Hong Kong. She also made it to the last eight of the Thailand open.

With a new found optimism, the 18-year-old then sizzled at the Beijing Games, stunning world number five and fourth seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong in a three-game thriller to become the first Indian woman to reach the quarter finals of the Olympics.

The little Hyderabadi teen soon attained the tag of a 'giant killer' as she galloped her way to an impressive win in the Yonex Chinese Taipei Open, beating Li Ya Lydia Cheah of Malaysia 21-8 21-19 in September.

The National champion also clinched the Youth Commonwealth Games and World Junior Championship titles and was adjudged the most promising player of the year by the Badminton World Federation soon after she broke into the elite top 10 bracket.

With the year nearing end, another opportunity came her way when she qualified for the prestigious World Super Series Masters final in Malaysia after two of the Chinese pulled out of the event at the last moment. PTI
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Where is the next generation? (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 24 December 2008
Written by Hits: 1009

LEE Chong Wei's silver-medal feat in the Beijing Olympics and a triple triumph at the season-ending Super Series Masters Finals were the only real high points for Malaysian badminton in 2008.

If anything, it was a year which highlighted numerous chinks in the armour, with even Chong Wei's Olympics final showdown against China's Lin Dan displaying how vast the difference in standard is between the two.

Still, a silver is much better than the medal-less outings of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and a return on the heavy government-led investment in badminton.

However, it has to be said that in the current climate, Malaysia's wait for gold may well continue even after the 2012 London Olympics unless reinforcements are found.

Chong Wei is unlikely to repeat his feat and with no solid players emerging as potential replacements, Malaysia are staring at the possibility of having no men's singles player to rely on.
Chong Wei Feng, Arif Latif, Tan Chun Seang and Liew Daren are nowhere near world class and the BA of Malaysia should be worried.

All are in their early 20s, an age when Chong Wei was already making heads turn and if BAM wants continuity, it must pay more attention to the younger players.

They must be given adequate chances to impress and if they fail, new players must be brought in.

National singles coach Misbun Sidek has worked wonders with Chong Wei but he must be taken out of his comfort zone and given new challenges.

For Chong Wei, his personal target next year should not only be to end Lin Dan's dominance but also keep an eye on the emergence of new talent from China's reservoir of players.

BAM, perhaps, isn't too worried about the lack of quality singles players due to the strong men's doubles but it will be unwise to place high hopes on the pairs.

Undoubtedly, national coach Rexy Mainaky has several pairs with potential but inconsistency remains a major problem.

Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong spent the entire year in wretched form, climaxed by their failure in Beijing, but showed glimpses of their potential by beating Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan twice in the last two months.

The Indonesians ended Kien Keat-Boon Heong's Beijing adventure in the last eight. Lee Chong Wei returned from the Beijing Games with a silver but his showdown with Lin Dan of China in the final showed the difference in standard between the two.

But Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who set the badminton world alight with their swashbuckling style in the first half of 2007, have the talent but need to stay on the right track if they are to clinch the world title in India next year.
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