JOHOR BAHARU, June 27 (Bernama) — The finals of the USD120,000 Malaysian Open Grand Prix badminton championships at the Indoor Stadium here tomorrow will be a complete showdown between Malaysia and China.
Heading the showdown would be the men’s singles clash between world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei and China’s rising force, Chen Long, the 21-year old player who conquered Taufik Hidayat in the first round.
In the semi-finals, Chong Wei tore apart his opponent Hu Yun fro Hong Kong, 21-9, 21-8 while Chen Long outlasted Malaysia’s veteran star Wong Choon Hann 21-10, 21-16 in the other semi-final.
"It will make an interesting match. Chen Long is an aggressive attacking player, yet he has the patience to wait for the right moment to launch his attack.
"Chong Wei as we all know, has the all round game and tons of experience, not to mention his confidence. Of course Chong Wei has the edge but you never know," said Choon Hann.
However, even before the finals tomorrow, the outcome of three titles had already been decided as far as which country will be the winner, since the women’s singles and mixed doubles will be an all-Chinese affair while the men’s doubles pitches two Malaysian pairs.
The only other match that will see another China-Malaysia clash is the women’s doubles as Malaysian number one pair and last week’s Indonesian Open Super Series winners Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty, take on Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli.
The Malaysian pair who are also the world number one pair and top seeds here, disposed Singapore’s Frances Liu-Vanessa Neo 21-10, 21-9 in the first semi-final while the Chinese duo beat their fellow countrywomen Gao Ling-Wei Yili 21-13, 21-14, in the other semi-final.
In the men’s doubles, Tan Boon Heong-Koo Kin Keat, the world number four seed who beat Indonesian pair Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan 21-13, 17-21, 21-11 in a thrilling three-set encounter, face exciting young pair Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen who overcame their sparring partners Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong 21-11, 21-15 in the other semi-final.
"This is a golden opportunity for us to win a major title and we are going to give it our best shot. We know it will be tough against Tan and Koo because we have lost to them in our three previous meetings – All-England, Swiss Open and Pahang Open," said Teik Chai.
China’s women singles domination in the world stage continued with both Wang Xin, conqueror of Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo in the semis, taking on Wang Shixian who toppled top seed Pi Hongyan of France.
The All-Chinese mixed doubles clash between Zheng Bo-Ma Jin and Xu Chen-Zhao Yunlei, which underlined China’s status as a dominant mixed doubles force, completes the fixtures for tomorrow.
Results (All semi-finals):
Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Hu Yun (HKG) 21-9, 21-8; Chen Long (CHN) bt Wong Choon Hann (MAS) 21-10, 21-16.
Men’s doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (MAS) bt Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan (INA) 21-13, 17-21, 21-11; Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen (MAS) bt Mak Hee Chin-Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) 21-11, 21-15.
Women’s doubles: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Ee Hui (MAS) bt Frances Liu Vanessa Neo (SIN) 21-10,21-9; Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli (CHN) bt Gao Lin-Wei Yili (CHN) 21-13,21-14
Women’s singles: Wang Xin (CHN) bt Wong Mew Choo (MAS) 21-18,21-14, Wang Shixian (CHN) bt Pi Hongyan (FRA) 21-14, 21-15.
Mixed doubles: Zheng Bo/Ma Jin (CHN) bt Zhang Nan/Pan Pan (CHN) 21-10, 20-22, 22-20; Xu Chen/Zhao Yunlei (CHN) bt Hendra Gunawan/Vita Marissa (INA) 21-12, 21-15.