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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: 632

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: 982

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: 445

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

 

August 16 is when the long wait must end

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 08 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 852

MALAYSIA'S position as one of the world's best badminton nations is rather hollow when one considers the fact that we are the only nation in the Big Five -- China, Indonesia, South Korea and Denmark being the others -- who have yet to win a world or Olympic title.

China have dominated the Olympics and the World Championships consistently while Indonesia too have a great history at badminton's major events.

The Koreans -- almost always -- rise to the occasion in the Olympics and World Championships while Denmark not only have had several world champions but also an Olympic gold medallist in Poul Erik Hoyer Larsen, who won the men's singles in Atlanta '96.

England, Japan and the United States -- hardly powerhouses in badminton -- have also won world titles while for Malaysia, it has been a case of always the bridesmaid since the inaugural edition 32 years ago.

Men's doubles Razif and Jalani Sidek were the first to falter in 1987 when they lost to China's Li Yongbo-Tian Bingyi in the men's doubles final and this was followed by Cheah Soon Kit's double failure.
Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang were favourites to capture the title but the Indonesian scratch pair of Ricky Subagja-Gunawan shocked them in 1993 while new pair Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto denied Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock in 1997.
 

Bleak outlook for the future of sports

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 08 February 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 896

KUALA LUMPUR: One had to strain to listen to the soft voice of Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim during his no holes-barred talk on “Sports in Malaysia - yesterday and today”.

To make matters worse, many in the audience had to put up with annoying late-comers, beeping handphones and inconsiderate chit-chatting by others in the cramped conference room at the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) building yesterday.

Through it all, though, what was more discomforting was the bleak picture painted by Prof Khoo as far as the future of the Malaysian sports is concerned.

 

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