PUTRAJAYA: Tan Chun Seang and Lim Chiew Sien made it an eventful day for the underdogs when they dumped the men’s and women’s singles defending champions in the National Grand Prix Finals at the Precinct 11 Sports Complex on Sunday.
An unfit independent shuttler Chun Seang went the distance to beat Misbun Ramdan Misbun 18-21, 21-17, 21-19 in an energy-sapping semi-final match.
He even vomitted after the 57-minute match.
Chun Seang, who left the national team in 2011 and was banned for two years from competing in Asian tournaments by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), will take on heavy favourite Chong Wei Feng in today’s final.
The 27-year-old Chun Seang said the victory was for his fans.
“I am in my first final in a local tournament after two years and this victory is to show to my fans that I am back,” said a pale-looking Chun Seang.
“I am not fit like Ramdan but I just pushed myself and tried to gain advantage with my net play. It worked.
“It will be tough for me against Wei Feng tomorrow (today). I certainly need to recover from this tough match,” he added.
Chun Seang, who recently extended his contract with Apacs for another year, said he would be ready for a national call-up if the country needs his services.
“Yes, I am itching for some action and want to represent the country in major tournaments like the Thomas Cup Finals, but it all depends on the selectors,” he added.
It was also a significant day for the 19-year-old Chiew Sien. She defeated three-time national champion Tee Jing Yi 21-12, 19-21, 21-13 in the women’s singles semi-finals.
And Chiew Sien attributed her breakthrough to the experience of playing in her first SEA Games in Myanmar recently. She was a replacement for Jing Yi, who quit the national team before the Games.
“This is the first time that I have beaten a senior player,” said a thrilled Chiew Sien on her first appearance in a final of a local tournament.
“It all goes back to the lesson that I learnt in my first SEA Games. I lost to Thailand’s Busanan (Ongbumrungpan) but I played quite well. It gave me a lot of confidence,” she said.
“Today, I played with the same mentality. I kept my game simple and enjoyed myself. I used to put undue pressure on myself. Now, I am more focused,” added Chiew Sien, who will take on Yang Li Lian in the final.