PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has urged the World Badminton Federation (BWF) to seriously look into the quality of line judging after surviving two bad calls en route to retaining the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold men’s singles title at Stadium Bandaraya in Johor Baru yesterday.
It was the second consecutive time in a final after the Indonesian Open last week in which Chong Wei had to endure poor line calls.
And he hoped the BWF can introduce electronic line calling technology along with a player challenge system, which is currently used in world tennis.
Yesterday, Chong Wei dropped a game for the first time in the second-tier international tournament to get the better of compatriot and veteran Wong Choong Hann, winning 21-8, 14-21, 21-14 in a 47-minute final.
In the decider, it all looked well and fine for Chong Wei even though he faced some resistance from Choong Hann. But he almost lost his cool halfway into the game following two poor back-to-back line calls.
“The consistency of this (poor line judging) taking place on the world stage has made me a little uneasy. But I am glad that I managed to win my fifth Open title,” said Chong Wei, who was the winner of four Super Series tournaments this year – in South Korea, Malaysia, England and Indonesia.
“I can accept it if they were close calls but they were way out of the line. I did not make a big issue because I was playing against a fellow Malaysian. In Indonesia (against Taufik Hidayat in the final), I had to bear with it because I was playing at their home ground.
“The poor quality of line judging has to stop. I admire what is being done in tennis.
“They allow players to challenge the call by linesmen and a replay takes place.
“Badminton can do the same to maintain a high standard in the game.”
Chong Wei’s next assignment is the Macau Open from July 27-Aug 1. But he will have a discussion with national coach Misbun Sidek on skipping the Kedah Open, which will be played in Alor Setar from July 21-24.
Meanwhile, the Ng sisters, Hui Lin-Hui Ern, failed to make it a double joy for Malaysia. They were beaten 21-12, 17-21, 13-21 by Thailand’s A. Duanganong-V. Kunchala in the women’s doubles final.
“We let slip a good chance today,” said Hui Lin.
“We started well but in our eagerness to win, we made too many mistakes in the second game. In the decider, we just lost our focus. We hope to do better in the Opens in Kedah and Macau.”
Hui Lin-Hui Ern are no longer players under the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) banner but they have made special arrangements to allow them to train with the national team at certain times in a week.
They currently play for Sri Pemajuru, a housing and development company owned by their father.