PETALING JAYA: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong gave an outstanding performance to reach the men's doubles final in the Danish Open in Odense yesterday, but Lee Chong Wei failed to make it a double joy for Malaysia.
World number one Kien Keat-Boon Heong continued their winning streak against world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia by carving out a sensational 21-18, 21-10 win in 30 minutes. It was the Malaysians' fifth win over Markis-Hendra.
Today, Kien Keat-Boon Heong will take on Danish veterans Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen in the final. The Malaysians will not only be fighting against Eriksen and Hansen but the home fans as well.
Yesterday, Eriksen-Hansen defied the odds by beating former world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China 21-16, 21-23, 21-19 in 75 minutes.
Chong Wei's hopes of reaching his second Danish Open final was dashed by the feisty Chunlai, who won 11-21, 21-18, 21-16.
The second seeded Chong Wei, the winner in 2005, got off to a good start but a fired up Chunlai bounced back to win the one-hour battle.
The turning point was in the second game with both tied at 16-16. Chunlai, who lost the first game tamely, then went on an attack mode. The strategy worked well for the lanky Chinese, who levelled the match and went on to take the rubber against the world number two.
Chunlai's victory also assured China of the men's singles title after top seeded compatriot Lin Dan staved off a strong challenge from Denmark's Kenneth Jonassen for a hard-fought 21-13, 20-22, 21-13 win in the other semi-final.
Despite the defeat, Chong Wei can take solace that he defeated World Championships runner-up Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in the quarter-finals on Friday.
It was sweet revenge for Chong Wei after an uncharacteristic loss to the player in the third round of the world meet in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Malaysia’s top women pair Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty’s challenge ended in the quarter-finals following an injury to Eei Hui.
They conceded their match to China's Zhao Tingting-Yu Yang while trailing 9-21, 0-6.
Said doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit: “Eei Hui injured her back. It was nothing serious but the pain was too much for her. It is an old injury but we will monitor her condition.”