• Now the hard work begins for Malaysian doubles (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Malaysia used to be a force to be reckoned with in the men’s doubles, and in the past few years the hope of seeing those glory days again became dim.

    However, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem’s performance at the Maybank Malaysian Open is set to be the catalyst for many more victories in the men’s doubles department. Newly crowned Malaysian Open doubles champions Lim Khim Wah (left) and Goh V Shem must now kick on to win more titles away from home if they want to be regarded as a formidable pair.

    On Sunday, the Malaysian pair downed China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei 21-19, 21-18 to lift their first Malaysian Open title. It ended Malaysia’s four-year wait for a Super Series title, which was last won by Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in 2010.

    National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang described the victory as a breakthrough and a boost for the team and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

  • A long dry spell ahead if Chong Wei retires (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: For a decade, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has feasted Malaysian fans with outstanding badminton results.

    Fans can now expect a dry season for a long time in the men’s singles department if Chong Wei retires because there are neither talents coming through nor an effective programme implemented at the grassroots level. It seems BAM are no closer to finding the successor to Lee Chong Wei who said he may retire from the game after the Asian Games in October, after winning his 10th Malaysian Open badminton championship on Sunday.

    On Sunday, Chong Wei defeated Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the men’s singles final of the Maybank Malaysian Open to win his 10th home title - a feat that no others have achieved on the international circuit.

    The two closest consistent winners on the international stage were eight-time All England champion Rudy Hartono and the late Wong Peng Soon, who had also won eight home titles.

  • Li’s comeback is a sweet success (pic)

    CHINA’s Li Xuerui made a successful return from injury to win her first Maybank Malaysian Open title at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

    The world No. 1 proved too strong for compatriot Wang Shixian, winning 21-16, 21-17 in the women’s singles final on Sunday.

    And Xuerui thanked her lucky stars after pulling off the victory.China's Li Xuerui screams in delight after clinching her first Malaysian Open title on Sunday. She defeated compatriot Wang Shixian in the final.

    “I am delighted to win this title for the first time here in Malaysia. After suffering from injury at the end of last year, I was doubtful about my performance. But luck was on my side today,” said Xuerui.

  • Badminton Superstar Lee Chong Wei takes 10th Malaysian Open title (pic)

    Lee Chong Wei took a record 10th Malaysian Open title on Sunday to strengthen his dominance of the badminton world rankings, but said he was unsure whether he would make it to the Olympics.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei took a record 10th Malaysian Open title on Sunday to strengthen his dominance of the badminton world rankings, but said he was unsure whether he would make it to the Olympics. Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia kisses the trophy on the podium after winning the men's singles final match against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia during their Malaysia Open Badminton Superseries in Kuala Lumpur. Lee won 21-19, 21-9.

    The Malaysian ace won his match against determined fourth seed Tommy Sugiarto 21-19, 21-9, after beating him in their eight previous meetings.

    Underdog Sugiarto put up a fight, leading all the way before Lee edged ahead at 20-19 and sealed the first game. Lee then cruised to the title with a 21-9 scoreline in the second game, earning him US$37,500.

  • The king - Lee Chong Wei, rules again (pic)

    CLASSY: Chong Wei remains untouchable on home ground but the ageing player hints of retirement

    LEE Chong Wei proved that he is the king of the (Maybank) Malaysia Open as he accomplished the goal of winning the 10th title and also dropped a strong hint that he is set to retire at the end of this year.Lee Chong Wei kisses his trophy after winning the Maybank Malaysia Open yesterday.

       The pressure had weighed on Chong Wei who had a sluggish start against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia before winning 21-19, 21-9 in 47 minutes at Putra Stadium yesterday to become the most successful player in the men's singles of the Malaysia Open.

       No player has won the same tournament more than eight times. Wong Peng Soon had won the Malaysia Open (then Malaya Open) eight times while Rudy Hartono and Denmark's Morten Frost Hansen had reached similar numbers in the All England and Denmark Open respectively.

  • Emotional Lee hints of retiring at year-end (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei sank to his knees with his head bowed down.

    When he got up, tears were rolling down his cheeks. His fanatical fans stood up and gave him a deserving standing ovation. A beaming Lee Chong Wei carries his son, Kingston, after winning the Malaysian Open badminton championship title for the 10th time on Sunday at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

    It was an emotional moment for the 31-year-old Lee Chong Wei when he amazingly landed his 10th, and maybe final, Malaysian Open title at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

    He had to stave off an early assault from a ferocious Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia before subduing him for a 21-19, 21-9 win in a 47-minute men’s singles clash.

    Immediately after the triumph, he revealed that he may retire at the end of the year.

  • Khim Wah-V Shem claim doubles title… at last (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem finally nailed their first Super Series title.

    And what better way to mark their breakthrough than in front of a vociferous home crowd cheering them all the way at the Putra Stadium.Remember their names. Lim Khim Wah (left) and Goh V Shem are the 2014 Malaysian Open men's doubles champions.

    Understandably, the duo just could not hold back their delight as they jumped up in joy after scoring the winning point as a wild celebration erupted inside the stadium.

    On Sunday, the duo proved to be the new heroes for the country when they dumped China’s Chai Biao and Hong Wei 21-19, 21-18 to claim the title at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

    The Malaysian fans joined in the celebration and one can hardly blame them as they have been starved of a men’s doubles major title for the last four years.

    Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were the last pair to win a Super Series title, also at home in 2010.

  • Perfect 10 is on for Chong Wei (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is just one step away from winning his 10th Malaysian Open title but hang on! The man he was least expected to meet – Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto – could spoil his party.

    Chong Wei and Tommy won their semi-final matches in contrasting fashion at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday to set up an intriguing men’s singles final on Sunday.Lee Chong Wei consoles his semi-final opponent from Denmark Jan O Jorgensen after latter retired injured from their match at Putra Stadium on Saturday.

    Chong Wei stepped onto the court bracing for a gigantic fight from Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark. Instead, his opponent gave up halfway due to a muscle strain on his right thigh.

    Chong Wei won 21-13, 3-0 in 27 minutes.

  • Finally... Malaysian pair are in the final (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah showed plenty of fire and resilience en route to becoming the first Malaysian men’s doubles pair to reach the final of the Maybank Malaysian Open since 2010. 

    The pair, back together for a third time after splitting up twice, were outstanding as they fought back from a game down to beat Indonesia’s Angga Pratama-Rian Agung Saputra.Malaysian men's pair Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah are through to the final of the Malaysian Open after beating their Indonesian opponents in three sets on Saturday.

    The world No. 17, backed by a vociferous home crowd, won 23-25, 21-13, 22-20 in 72 minutes.
    It could have ended earlier had V Shem-Khim Wah made the most of the two game points in the first game.
  • Danish pair banking on home comfort (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Home is where the heart is.

    And Denmark’s mixed doubles pair of Christina Pedersen and Joachim Fischer Nielsen intend to bank on home advantage to clinch their first World Championships gold medal when the prestigious tournament is held in Copenhagen in August.Christinna Pedersen-Joachim Fischer Nielsen are through to the mixed doubles final at the Malaysian Open badminton championship after beating Olympic champions Ma Jin-Zhao Yunlei in the semis at Putra Stadium on Saturday.

    They are confident of doing well at home after shocking Olympic gold medallists Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China 21-10, 21-12 in the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

  • Japanese pair gets a kick beating the Chinese (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Top Japanese women’s pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi have a poor record against opponents from China.

    They are also one of the few top pairs in the world who have yet to bag a Super Series title.

    The pair, who reached a career high No. 2 in the world last year before slipping down to fourth, however believe that has kept them hungry and motivated at the highest level.Top Japanese pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi are in the final of the Malaysian Open after defeating compatriots Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda in the semis at Putra Stadium on Saturday.

    Top Japanese pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi are in the final of the Malaysian Open after defeating compatriots Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda in the semis at Putra Stadium on Saturday.

    And Matsutomo-Takahashi have certainly shown that in the Maybank Malaysian Open here.

    On Friday, they scored a rare win over Olympic champions Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei of China in the quarter-finals.

    Then on Saturday, they outlasted compatriots Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda in 86 minutes to reach the Malaysian Open final for the second straight year.

    “We’re obviously very tired... but we just keep pushing ourselves to do better,” said Matsutomo.

  • Chen exit clears path for Lee Chong Wei (pic)

    KUALA LUMPUR: World number one Lee Chong Wei's march to the Malaysia Open title appeared unstoppable after Chinese archrival Chen Long crashed out in the quarter-finals on Friday.

    Malaysia's Lee, who had no trouble brushing past Chen's eighth-seeded compatriot Du Pengyu 21-9, 21-15, said he is feeling confident after his quick 34-minute win.Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei returns a shot against China's Pengyu Du during their men's single quarter-final match at the Malaysia Open Badminton Superseries in Kuala Lumpur on January 17, 2014.

    Asked about world number two Chen, who defeated him at the Korea Open last week, Lee just smiled and said: "I always try my best to win every tournament I enter.

    "It is no different here, but as I always say, I will take it one match at a time and now I have to focus on my semifinal opponent."

  • Chong Wei's biggest threat Chen Long sent packing (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Japan's world No. 5 Kenichi Tago gave Lee Chong Wei a massive favour after turning on the style to stun world No. 2 Chen Long in the quarter-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

    Chen Long who won the Korean Open last week by beating Chong Wei, was suffering from fever and was clearly not in his best condition as Tago won 21-18, 9-21, 21-10 on Saturday.Chong Wei's biggest threat Chen Long sent packing

    The Japanese ace will go on to meet Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto in the semi-finals. Tommy was in smashing form as he brushed aside India's K. Srikanth 21-10, 21-15.

  • V Shem-Khim Wah make it to Malaysian Open semis (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: The onus was on Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah to step up and deliver and the pair responded with gusto as they charged into the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

    The sole Malaysian survivors of the men’s doubles event, V Shem-Khim Wah were in superb form on Friday as they smashed their way past England’s Chris Langridge-Peter Mills 21-16, 21-14 in the quarter-finals.Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah on their way to beating England’s Chris Langridge-Peter Mills 21-16, 21-14 in the quarter-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Jan 17, 2014.

    It was just the kind of performance the pair, back together for a third time following several split-ups, needed.

    It bettered their quarter-final appearance at the Korean Open last week and it is their best showing at a Super Series event since making the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open last year.

  • Yeon-ju aiming for Super Series, Asian Games glory (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: South Korean women’s singles shuttler Bae Yeon-ju has several career highlights.

    Making the semi-finals of last year’s world championships and being a part of the of victorious 2010 Uber Cup team are just two of them.

    But she’s aiming for much more. The 23-year-old has two goals for this year – to break her duck in the Super Series events as well as win the gold in the Asian Games which will be held in Incheon.Bae Yeon-ju in action against 16-year-old Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the Maybank Malaysian Open quarter-finals. Yeon-ju won 21-15, 21-16.

    The crafty left-hander, who is currently ranked seventh in the world, is well on track to achieving her first target after storming into the semi-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Friday.

    Yeon-ju, who hails from Gyeongsangnam, showed her mettle as she doused the challenge of 16-year-old Akane Yamaguchi 21-15, 21-16.

    It was an impressive performance as the young Japanese has been on a roll, beating world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and compatriot Minatsu Mitani in the first and second round respectively.

  • The Adcocks are a happy couple on and off the court (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: It’s rare to see a couple travel the world and play good badminton together.

    But that is the adventurous journey of mixed doubles shuttler Chris Adcock and his wife Gabrielle.

    The couple tied the knot last September and are enjoying the best of both worlds.Chris (left) and Gabrielle Adcock in action against Germany’s Michael Fuchs-Birgit Michels during the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 16, 2014. The Adcocks won 23-21, 16-21, 21-6.

    Just a month after their marriage, the English pair won their first Super Series title in Hong Kong.

    And on Thursday, the Adcocks stormed into the quarter-finals of the Maybank Malaysian Open after beating Germany’s Michael Fuchs-Birgit Michels 23-21, 16-21, 21-6 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

  • Ahsan-Hendra go down in shock defeat (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: The second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open got off to an unexpected start with two of the top four seeds in the men’s doubles crashing out.

    Taiwan’s Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin were on fire as they doused the challenge of world champions and top seeds Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan on Thursday.Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin humbled world champions and top seeds Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open. The Taiwanese pair won 21-10, 19-21, 21-13.

    The world No. 9 got their act right for a 21-10, 19-21, 21-13 win. Sheng-mu-Chia-hsin will go on to face sixth seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan, who defeated Dutch duo Koen Ridder-Ruud Bosch, in the quarter-finals.

  • Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu crash out of Malaysia Open (pic)

    Saina fought hard before going down 21-16 10-21 19-21 to Yao Xue of China, while Sindhu lost to sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea 16-21 19-2.

    Kuala Lumpur:  India's campaign in the women's singles came to an end at the USD 500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier badminton event after both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu lost their respective second round matches, here on Thursday.Saina fought hard before going down 21-16 10-21 19-21 to Yao Xue of China, while Sindhu lost to sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea 16-21 19-2.

    Olympic bronze medalist Saina fought hard before going down 21-16 10-21 19-21 to lower-ranked Yao Xue of China in a 56-minute contest, while Sindhu lost to sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea 16-21 19-21 in 45 minutes at the Putra Stadium.

  • Kim Wah-V Shem save Malaysia the blushes (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: Doubles shuttlers Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem saved Malaysia from their worst-ever showing on home soil in the men’s doubles when they became the only pair to win the opening match.

    On Wednesday, Khim Wah-V Shem gained sweet revenge when they dumped second seeds and reigning Korean Open champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 24-22, 17-21, 21-18.Goh V Shem (left) and Lim Khim Wah in action against Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark during their first round match in the Maybank Malaysian Open. V Shem-Khim Wah won 24-22, 17-21, 21-18.

    Just last week, the Malaysians had gone down with a whimper to the Danes in the quarter-finals of the season-opener in cold Seoul.

    But on Wednesday, they were blowing hot, showing great fighting spirit to outplay the Danes and prevent Malaysia from suffering a complete whitewash.

  • Yong-dae the accidental badminton hero (pic)

    BUKIT JALIL: As a young boy, Lee Yong-dae of South Korea picked up badminton in a bid to lose weight.

    Not only did he go on to shed some kilos, but the 25-year-old also grew to become one of the heavyweights in the doubles event.

    In fact, he is one of the most admired players in the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.The Korean mixed doubles pair Lee Yong-dae (right) and Shin Seung-chan in action in the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Jan 15, 2014. Yond-dae's primary objective this year is to do well in the Asian Games.

    And the Olympic Games gold medallist says he owes it all to his mother.

    “I was quite chubby when I was eight years old and my mother signed me up with a badminton club so that I could lose weight,” he said with a smile.

    “Within a year, I lost some pounds... I can’t remember how many kilos but I decided to stop as my mission was accomplished.

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