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Malaysians win big in California


Malaysia's Goh V Shem (extreme right) and Tan Wee Kiong with the US Grand Prix badminton trophy they won in California on Sunday. They defeated Russia's Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov in the final.

Malaysia's Goh V Shem (extreme right) and Tan Wee Kiong with the US Grand Prix badminton trophy they won in California on Sunday. They defeated Russia's Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov in the final.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong have finally hit the jackpot.

After chasing an elusive Open title for more than year, the pair exacted sweet revenge over Russians Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov to nick the US Grand Prix title at the Orange County Badminton Club in California.

They took just 27 minutes to clinch the men’s doubles title with a convincing 21-14, 21-17 win, thus making amends for their loss to the Russian pair in the final of the Russian Open in July.

This is their first win in the Open circuit since being paired up in September last year.

Their previous best was winning two gold medals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year – in the men’s doubles and mixed team.

“Finally, we’ve won our first Open title ... what a relief!” said the 26-year-old Wee Kiong.

“We must thank all our coaches for having faith in us.

“We are also grateful to BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) for sending us here although the cost is high. Morten (Frost, technical director) trusted us and I’m happy that we delivered.

“This will put us back on track in our chase for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games qualification.”

World No. 15 Wee Kiong-V Shem must stay within top the 16 when the one-year Olympic qualifying period ends in April if they are to make the cut for the Rio Olympics.

“This win is meaningful to me. The last time we played against the Russians, my service was faulted many times and that broke my rhythm. Today, I was able to get it right,” said V Shem, 26.

“Wee Kiong and I have ended our long wait for an Open title, but this is just the beginning.

The duo will now shift their focus to the Mexico City Grand Prix, which begins on Tuesday.

The second-seeded Malaysians are expected to meet top seeds Ivanov-Sozonov in the final there again.

FINAL RESULTS

Men’s singles: Lee Hyun-il (Kor) bt Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 21-19, 21-12.

Men’s doubles: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) bt Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) 21-14, 21-17.

Women’s singles: Pai Yu-po (Tpe) bt Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) 18-21, 21-15, 21-15.

Women’s doubles: Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) bt Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 24-22, 18-21, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: Choi Solgyu-Eom Hye-won (Kor) bt Michael Fuchs-Birgit Michels (Ger) 21-12, 21-14.

   

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