Wily Koreans exploit Wei Chong-Kai Wun’s inexperience to steal title

Pushing the limits: Man Wei Chong (left) and Tee Kai Wun in action against South Korea’s Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae during the men’s doubles final. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

MAN Wei Chong was as cool and composed as a monk as he steadily guided his shaky partner Tee Kai Wun in the Malaysian Masters men’s doubles final but it was just not meant to be the homesters’ day.

South Koreans Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae exploited Kai Wun’s vulnerability and kept attacking him but Wei Chong kept pulling them out of danger as they fought all the way till the last point.

Min-hyuk was even flashed a red card by the umpire for delaying the match in the deciding game but the Koreans tried every trick in the book to disrupt the rhythm of the Malaysians throughout the match. But they had the last laugh after edging Wei Chong-Kai Wun 21-15, 22-24, 21-19 in 80 minutes.

The home pair, however, deserved a pat on the back as they did not give up when the chips were down.

They were tottering at 13-19 in the second game and could have capitulated under pressure but fought back to save two match points before taking the game 24-22 to force the decider.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun may have lost due to their inexperience on the big stage but they have won the hearts of thousands of the Malaysian fans for their indomitable fighting spirit.

The Koreans, on the other hand, proved to be wily as every time they delayed the match, it put their hosts under pressure.

Kai Wun, had he been steadier, could have changed the outcome of the match but the bitter experience is likely to make him wiser for such tactical battles in the future.

Wei Chong, who was hampered by a knee injury which forced the pair to skip the European tournaments, said they were not ruthless enough in the third game after allowing the Koreans to make a comeback.

“We started well in the third game but after the interval, we did not control the game and allowed the Koreans to regain the lead. That added more pressure on us,” said Wei Chong.

“We’re happy with how far we’ve come after missing a lot of tournaments due to injury. In February, I got injured and when I recovered, Kai Wun was down with injury.

“This is our first full competition and we need to work harder to achieve better results.”

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