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Friday January 18, 2013
Reports by RAJES PAUL and KNG ZHENG GUAN
A SPATE of withdrawals marred the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday and it led to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei questioning the World Badminton Federation’s (BWF) international tournament calendar.
Yesterday, the eight-time Malaysian Open champion Chong Wei was given a free ride into the men’s singles quarter-finals after a no-show by his opponent Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand because of illness.
Daren also did not raise his racquet as former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia had also withdrawn due to an injury.
Top seeds Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, who last won a Super Series title at the 2010 Malaysian Open, also conceded a walkover to their compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem as Boon Heong was down with high fever.
The announcements of the withdrawals yesterday was greeted with boos from a frustrated group of fans, who had waited patiently for their country’s top players to be in action.
Chong Wei, who had warmed up ahead of his match, said it was unfortunate for the fans not to get their money’s worth.
“I did not know about Boonsak’s withdrawal until later. Taufik also withdrew because of injury. Our doubles player Boon Heong was also very sick,” said Chong Wei.
Last week, the Korean Open in Seoul was also hit by retirements and withdrawals.
“There are just too many tournaments and it is taking its toll on the players. I was playing in December (World Super Series Finals). Then two weeks later, I was back again playing in the Korean Open. Maybe, it is time for BWF to review their calendar.
”It will be good if the BWF give us a one-month break before the start of the new season. It will give time for players to rest and re-group. In tennis, we don’t hear of similiar complaints because their tournaments are well spread out throughout the year,” added Chong Wei.
Chong Wei however, promised to give the fans their money’s worth in today’s quarter-finals.
The Malaysian, who is gunning for a historic ninth title, will take on Hu Yun of Hong Kong while his compatriot Liew Daren will meet Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark.
“Good matches are in store in the quarter-finals today. Hopefully, I can meet Daren in the semi-finals. Daren has been doing well and after missing out the Korean Open, he wants to prove a point. I hope to see him win the match,” said Chong Wei.
Meanwhile, national doubles coach Tan Kim Her said that Boon Heong’s misery was a blessing for world No. 30 Khim Wah-V Shem.
“Boon Heong was already sick coming into the tournament and his condition worsened after the opening round. We decided it was best to pull him out,” said Kim Her.
”Khim Wah-V Shem now have a good chance to qualify for the World Championships (in August in Guangzhou). By making it to the quarter-finals here, their world ranking will likely improve to 21.”
A country can have a maximum of three pairs for the World Championships if all of them are ranked in the top 24 by the end of the qualifying period in April.
“Khim Wah-V Shem are the only pair left in the tournament and we hope that they will go far,” said Kim Her.
Khim Wah-V Shem will take on Kang Ji-wook-Lee Sang-joon of South Korea today. The unseeded Koreans played brilliantly to beat world No. 9 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong 17-21, 21-11, 21-16.
Second round results
(Malaysians unless stated)
Men’s singles: Jan O Jorgensen (Den) bt P. Kashyap (Ind) 21-17, 21-14; Liew Daren w.o. Taufik Hidayat (Ina); Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) bt Hu Yun (Hkg) 12-21, 21-14, 21-13; Kenichi Tago (Jpn) bt R.M.V Gurusaidutt (Ind) 27-25, 21-19; Sho Sasaki (Jpn) bt Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 12-21, 21-19, 21-15; Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) bt Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Tha) 23-21, 21-15; Lee Chong Wei w.o. Boonsak Ponsana (Tha); Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Gao Huan (Chn) 21-15, 21-16.
Men’s doubles: Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra (Ina) 21-15, 21-10; Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) bt Patiphat Chalardchaleam-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) 21-14, 21-13; Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) bt Chris Langridge-Peter Mills (Eng) 21-13, 21-10; Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) bt Alven Yulianto-Markis Kido (Ina) 21-19, 21-18; Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah w.o Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong; Chai Biao-Liu Xiaolong (Chn) bt Qiu Zihan-Zhang Nan (Chn) 21-16, 22-20; Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Jpn) bt Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock 21-13, 21-10; Kang Ji-wook-Lee Sang-joon (Kor) bt Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong 17-21, 21-11, 21-16.
Women’s singles: Tine Baun (Den) bt Sun Yu (Chn) 21-18, 21-17; Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) bt Fanetri Lindaveni (Ina) 21-13, 21-13; Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) bt Chan Tsz Ka (Hkg) 21-17, 21-13; Saina Nehwal (Ind) bt Yip Pui Yin (Hkg) 21-12, 21-19; Minatsu Mitani (Jpn) bt Adrianti Firdasari (Ina) 21-19, 21-15; Yao Xue (Chn) bt Sonia Cheah 21-16, 21-15; Deng Xuan (Chn) bt Chen Jiayuan (Sin) 21-17, 21-9; Bae Yeon-ju (Kor) bt Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) 21-17, 22-20.
Women’s doubles: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) bt Heather Olver-Kate Robertshaw (Eng) 21-17, 21-15; Bao Yixin-Tian Qing (Chn) bt Suci Rizky Andini-Della Destiara Haris (Ina) 21-14, 21-18; Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) bt Johanna Goliszewski-Birgit Michels (Ger) 21-16, 21-9; Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda (Jpn) bt Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta (Ina) 14-21, 21-15, 21-17; Ko A-ro-Yoo Hae-won (Kor) bt Jillie Cooper-Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) 20-22, 21-9, 22-20; Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei (Sin) bt Poon Lok Yan-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 17-21, 21-19, 21-19; Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella-Vita Marissa (Ina) bt A. Duanganong-V. Kunchala (Tha) 21-16, 21-17; Pradnya Gadre-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) bt Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua (Chn) 24-22, 16-21, 21-19.
Mixed doubles: Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing bt Robert Blair-Jillie Cooper (Sco) 21-16, 21-18; Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Vanessa Neo Yu Yan (Sin) bt Chayut Triyachart-Yao Lei (Sin) 21-17, 21-14; Praveen Jordan-Vita Marissa (Ina) bt Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto (Ina) 28-26, 20-22, 21-17; Zhang Nan-Tang Jinhua (Chn) bt Chris Adcock-Gabrielle White (Eng) 21-17, 11-21, 21-16; Robert Mateusiak-Nadiezda Zieba (Pol) bt Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Miyuki Maeda (Jpn) 21-10, 21-18; Anders Kristiansen-Julie Houmann (Den) bt Songphon Anugritayawon-V. Kunchala (Tha) 21-18, 21-15; Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Mads Pieler Kolding-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) 21-19, 18-21, 21-16; Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt Qiu Zihan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) 21-19, 11-21, 21-11.
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