KUALA LUMPUR: Two left-handed shuttlers Chong Wei Feng and Soong Joo Ven got it right to nail the singles titles in Division One and Two of the Selangor Open badminton championships respectively at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
Their achievements have given World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei a reason to smile.
The 24-year-old Wei Feng and Joo Ven’s strong showings throughout this first leg of the National Circuit showed there was still a glimmer of hope for them to take over from Chong Wei.
In the absence of 10-time national champion, the scrawny Wei Feng came from behind to beat Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 12-21, 21-10, 21-14 to win only his second Open local title.
“Chong Wei has dominated the local scene for 10 years and I made full use of his absence here. In a way, I am glad he has given us the chance to come good. It feels good to win,” said Wei Feng, who won the Kuala Lumpur Open last year – also in Chong Wei’s absence.
“I got off to a slow start against Iskandar and made too many mistakes. I picked up in the second game and fortunately, founf my rhythm to take command of the game.
“However, winning a local tournament is not enough… I must start winning international titles too.”
A few hours after his win, Wei Feng left for Germany. He will take on England’s world No. 25 Rajiv Ouseph in the first round of the Grand Prix Gold event and he’s dreaming of a flying start.
“I aim to do well. Like many other youngsters, I would also like to represent the country at the Thomas Cup Finals.
“But to achieve that, I must start doing well in international tournaments,” added Wei Feng, who did not make the team for the Thomas Cup qualifiers in Macau recently.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Joo Ven from Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) was on cloud nine after bagging his first Open title when he defeated Chong Yee Han 21-9, 21-9 in just 20 minutes in the boys’ singles final.
“I am extremely happy to nick my first Open title. This will give me great motivation as I prepare for the Asian and world junior championships this year,” said Joo Ven, who will be out to defend both the titles won by Zulfadli Zulkifli of KLRC last year.
“I am not as fit or as powerful as many players my age but I am consistent. I look up to South Korean Lee Hyun-il because I think both of us have a similar style of play. We do not have power but we rely on our skills.
“I have learnt a lot from coach Zhou Kejian (chief coach of BJSS) and hopefully, I will be able to end my junior career on a good note,” added Joo Ven, who also left for Germany yesterday to compete in a junior tournament held concurrently with the Open.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei and his partner Vivian Hoo bagged the mixed doubles title after beating top seeds and heavy favourites Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 21-15, 27-25 to the delight of a 1,000 crowd at the stadium.
Said Chong Wei: “It is a real surprise to win the mixed doubles. I will continue to have fun in the local meet. I may take part in the men’s doubles next. I still want our youngsters to fight for honours in the men’s singles.”
Men’s singles: Chong Wei Feng bt Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 12-21, 21-10, 21-14.
Men’s doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Lim Khim Wah bt Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong 21-17, 21-19.
Women’s singles: Lydia Cheah bt Tee Jing Yi 19-21, 21-10, 21-14.
Women’s doubles: Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei bt Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean 21-19, 21-7.
Mixed doubles: Lee Chong Wei-Vivian Hoo bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 21-15, 27-25.
Boys’ singles: Soong Joo Ven bt Chong Yee Han 21-9, 21-9.
Boys’ doubles: Dareen Isaac Deva Dass-Tai An Khang bt Calvin Ong Jia Hong-Tan Wee Gieen 14-21, 21-16, 21-12.
Girls’ singles: Ho Yen Mei bt Yap Rui Chen 21-9, 21-17.
Girls’ doubles: Kisona Selvaduray-Tew Jia Jia bt Cheah Yee See-Norshahida Baharum 10-21, 21-19, 22-20.
Mixed doubles: Ong Yew Sin-Norshahida Baharum bt Chua Keh Yeap-Peck Yen Wei 21-18, 22-20.