All England: Indonesians in the way (pic)


INDONESIANS stand in the way of Asian Games champions Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and singles player Hafiz Hashim from making a bright start to the All England championships in Birmingham on March 6-11.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the joint fifth seeds, open their campaign against Sigit Budiarto-Frans Kurniawan and are likely to meet another Indonesian pair Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto in the second round.

A win will pit Kien Keat-Boon Heong against joint third seeds Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan, also from Indonesia, in the last eight.

Unlike in the Malaysia Open and Korea Open where Kien Keat-Boon Heong had to go through the qualifying rounds, the pairs impressive results in both competitions has seen them receiving direct entry to the main draw in Birmingham.

However, victories over Markis-Hendra at the Doha Asian Games and the Malaysia Open, where Kien Keat-Boon Heong went on to win the title on both occasions, should have the Malaysians in confident mood.

The Malaysians are expected to meet second seeds Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark in the last four.

However, it could turn out to be an all-Malaysian affair if veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah can pull off an upset over the Danes in the last eight.

Tan Fook-Wan Wah have a tricky first round match against World Championships silver medallists Robert Blair-Anthony Clark of England.

Lin Woon Fui-Fairuzizuan Tazari have been given an ultimatum by national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky to either do well or face the prospect of breaking the partnership. It will be a tough road for them.

They are likely to meet Koreas qualifiers Yoo Yeon Seong-Han Sang Hoon in the first round while Korea Open champions Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae, the joint third seeds, await them in the second. If they survive, Woon Fui-Fairuzizuan will have to battle the Indonesia-United States partnership of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan in the last eight.

There was reprieve for joint third seed Lee Chong Wei as he avoided Chinas top seed Lin Dan and Malaysia Open champion Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark at least till the semi-finals but it was not the case for Hafiz.

Hafiz plays Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia in the first round.

To make matters worse, Taufik has already set his sights on winning the All-England crown, the only prestigious title to have eluded him thus far.

Should Hafiz survive, his second round opponent is expected to be another Indonesian, Sony Dwi Kuncoro with Lin Dan the likely opponent in the quarter-finals.

Chong Wei plays Chetan Anand of India in the first round and is tipped to meet Denmarks Joachim Persson in the second before a quarter-final clash with Chen Yu of China.

Roslin Hashim plays Lin Dan in the first round while Wong Choong Hann, should he survive the qualifying rounds, opens against compatriot Lee Tsuen Seng. Lin Dan awaits Choong Hann in the second round.

(source: NST)


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