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Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 4:40:00 PM
Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 4:59:24 PM
by kng zheng guan
Fu Haifeng (left) and new partner Hong Wei in training during the World Championships in China. They are hoping to form a successful partnership starting at the Denmark Open. Filepic.
ODENSE (Denmark): Fu Haifeng may no longer be partners with Cai Yun but he is still as dangerous as ever with new partner Hong Wei.
For several years, Guangdong native Haifeng formed one of the world’s deadliest partnerships with Cai Yun and together they won the London Olympics last year and were four times world champions in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Individually, the 30-year-old is also well known for his smashing prowess and he is one of the best players in backcourt coverage.
Haifeng and Cai Yun may have gone their separate ways but the former is settling down well in his new role and partnership with the younger Hong Wei.
On Wednesday, Haifeng-Hong Wei overcame a slow start to pack off South Korean world No. 7 Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang 9-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the first round of the Denmark Open.
And Haifeng believes that pairing up with Hong Wei will only prolong his career.
“I’m the more experienced one and Hong Wei is younger and more energetic,” said Haifeng.
“He doesn’t need me to lead him anymore. In fact, he’ll be the one who will carry this partnership with his physical fitness.
“We didn’t start too well against the Korean pair on Wednesday but that’s normal because this is our first tournament together.
“We’ve only had two real sessions together prior to the Denmark Open and the first round result is satisfactory ... but we’ll definitely get better.
“So far everything is going fine ... plus I’m enjoying my game a lot more now since this is a new combination and there is no pressure to perform,” added Haifeng.
The pair will face Japanese duo Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in the second round with the winners likely to face second seeds and home favourites Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen.
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