• Lee-Chen rivalry resumes in Korean Open final (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: The year’s first badminton tournament – the Korean Open – is set for a red-hot finale in chilly Seoul.

    World No. 1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei and second seed Chen Long of China were in sizzling form en route to overcoming their semi-final opponents on Saturday.

    Chong Wei stood solid in the face of Kenichi Tago’s constant battering to prevail 21-17, 21-17 in 51 minutes while the lanky Chen Long packed off Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana 21-15, 21-9 in 41 minutes. 

    The opener saw Chong Wei losing his focus momentarily before making a comeback to nick it. The second game was nail-biting with both trading blow for blow before the 31-year-old Malaysian claimed his 15th win over the Japanese in 16 meetings.

    But Chong Wei had better be wary of the lanky Chen Long, who is shaping up well for their first duel this year.

  • Lee Chong Wei qualifies for Korean Open finals (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: World badminton number one Lee Chong Wei is one step closer to winning the Korean Open Super Series Badminton Tournament Championship for the fourth time after confirming a slot in the finals on Sunday.

    The Malaysian beat fifth-seeded Kenichi Tago from Japan 21-17, 21-17 in a thrilling 51-minute semi-final match at the Olympics 2 Stadium in Seoul on Saturday.

    However, he is expected to receive stiff resistance from rival Chen Long of China, who disposed veteran Thai player Boonsak Ponsana 21-15 and 21-9.

  • Liu Ying puts off surgery, for now (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Mixed doubles specialist Goh Liu Ying has decided to give herself one more chance to salvage her career – before deciding whether to undergo knee surgery.

    On Thursday, Liu Ying decided to play on with her loyal partner Chan Peng Soon in the Malaysian Open starting next Wednesday at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

    Last week, she pulled out of the ongoing season opener Korean Open in Seoul because she could not go full swing in training.

    “For now, I am not experiencing any unbearable pain in my knee. I can move around during training and I have decided to gauge my condition at the Malaysian Open,” said Liu Ying.

    “I want to see whether my knee can handle the strain of playing in a competitive tournament like the Malaysian Open. If I cannot move as freely as I wish, I will opt for surgery.

  • Favourites cruise into Korean Open quarters (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: No new stars stole the show in the Korean Open on a day when two tournament favourites, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long of China, made it to the men’s singles quarter-finals in contrasting fashions.

    Top seed and defending champion Chong Wei stayed hot in a cold Seoul by disposing of Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-14, 21-18 in the second round but second seed Chen Long dropped a game before making it through.

    All England champion Chen Long overcame a sluggish start to beat Takuma Euda of Japan 19-21, 21-9, 21-14.

    Today, Chong Wei will face a usual suspect – Du Pengyu of China, while Chen Long has set up a match against Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam.

    National singles coach Rashid Sidek said that the season opener has given a sneak preview of what to expect in the men’s singles competition - probably for the rest of the season.

  • Korean Open: All out except Chong Wei, V Shem-Khim Wah (pic)

    PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei was on fire, as usual, but it was yet another first round stinker for national champion Chong Wei Feng in the Korean Open in Seoul.

    Defending champion Chong Wei breezed past local hopeful Son Wan-ho 21-11, 21-18 despite the chilly conditions on the courts on Wednesday.

    Wei Feng showed that he still has a lot to learn in terms of adapting to treacherous playing conditions en route to falling to an 18-21, 11-21 defeat to towering Russian shuttler Vladimir Ivanov in 35 minutes.

    It was his second straight first round loss in an international tournament, following the shocker at the Myanmar SEA Games last month.

    Chong Wei, clearly not too pleased at seeing his compatriot fall so early, offered some words of wisdom.

    “It’s not ideal to see Wei Feng lose so early... he certainly has a lot to learn still,” said Chong Wei.

  • Badminton: Milton Keynes-based Chris and Gabby Adcock to lead England bid for glory in Korea (pic)

    MILTON Keynes-based Chris and Gabby Adcock will lead England’s top players straight into New Year action when they tackle the Victor Korea Open from tomorrow (Wednesday)

    The Adcocks go into a big badminton year boosted by their rise to number five in the world on the back of their Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open Superseries triumph in November.

    Now they head for Seoul for the opening event in the 2014-2017 BWF Superseries cycle under the circuit’s new title sponsors MetLife.

    The Adcocks will be keen to maintain their world ranking to ensure a good seeding at the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Championships, which all take place between April and August.

    But first the focus is on the Korean tournament, followed a week later by the year’s first Premier Superseries event, the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. When they return home the Adcocks will turn their attention to the English National Championships in Milton Keynes in early February when they aim to recapture the mixed doubles title they won in 2012.

  • Wei Feng faces towering hurdle at Korean Open (pic)

    PETALING JAYA: December was a month of high and low for world No. 13 Chong Wei Feng.

    The Kedahan was down in the dumps after a shocking first round defeat at the Myanmar SEA Games, but recovered well to win his first national title in his career.

    Now, he is eager to start the year on a high when he takes to the court in the first round of the Korean Open in Seoul on Wednesday.

    The scrawny Wei Feng, who has improved by leaps and bounds despite the Myanmar shocker, is fired up for a good result with places for the Thomas Cup, to be held from May 18-25 in New Delhi, India, at stake.

  • Doubles pair wary of chill factor in Korea (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles champion Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How will be fighting on two fronts when they start their campaign in the Korean Open on Wednesday.

    On Saturday, the duo and compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem left for Seoul for the season opener of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Super Series.

    The 24-year-old Wee Kiong said their opening round match would be “treacherous”.

    “The weather in Seoul is below 13°C. It is really cold. On top of that, we have a tricky opening match against an upcoming pair from China (Kang Jun-Liu Cheng). We cannot take them lightly.

    “We have to balance our act. We have to adapt to the cold condition and also stay on guard against the Chinese pair,” said Wee Kiong.

  • Coach Jeremy withdraws Chan-Goh from Korean Open (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan has withdrawn Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying from the Korean Open, which begins in Seoul next Wednesday, due to the latter’s knee injury. Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon (left) and Goh Liu Ying will not be competing at the Korean Open, which begins in Seoul next Wednesday.

    Peng Soon-Liu Ying are the second pair to opt out of the season-opener following an earlier decision to withdraw Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong from the men’s doubles due to Boon Heong’s viral fever. 

    “Liu Ying is down with a knee injury. For now, it is best that we pulled Liu Ying-Peng Soon out of the Korean Open. Their participation in the preceding Malaysian Open (Jan 14-19) and other future tournaments depends on Liu Ying’s condition,” said Jeremy. 

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