BANGKOK: National back-up shuttlers Chan Peng Soon and Lim Khim Wah created history by becoming the first Malaysians to win the men’s doubles in the Thailand Open when they upset veterans Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah in the final today.
The duo maintained their superb run in the tournament by winning 20-22, 21-14 and 21-11 against the World Championships-bound pair and top seeds in 38 minutes.
The 21-year-old Chan, who lost in the mixed doubles semifinals, and his 20-year-old partner netted their biggest cheques in their career by taking home US$8,160 (RM28,865) while Choong and Lee settled for US$4,560 (RM16,130).
"We did expect to do well here but winning the tournament is certainly a big achievement for us…more so against experienced players like Choong and Lee," said Chan, who joined the national elite back-up squad earlier this year.
Lim said they managed to put up a gallant performance as there was no pressure on them to take on the rivals.
"We just played our normal games and wanted to upset them," said the Penang lad who created history with Chan as no other Malaysian pairs had won the title since the inception in 1984.
Only Yong Hock Kim and Muhd Hafiz Hashim had won the men’s singles in 2001 and 2005 respectively.
The Penang boys had upstaged Malaysian Open runners-up and world ranked 16th Alven Yulianto and Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia in the semifinals yesterday.
Both players, whose best achievement overseas was the 16th spot in the Hong Kong Open last year, were briefly separated but national coaches reunited them again this year.
"This will certainly push us to work harder and give us more confidence to be the top pair in the world one day," said Chan.
Lee said the young pair played a fast and aggressive game, forcing them to make mistakes.
In the men’s singles, homester Boonsak Ponsana, who upset top seed Wong Choong Hann in the semifinals, failed again in his third final appearances after losing 16-21 and 13-21 to second-ranked Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam.
Liu Jian took the women’s singles title by beating teammate Wang Rong 21-16 and 21-18. – Bernama