No big ang pow for top pair

PETALING JAYA: National number one doubles pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah have given up the chance to win a big ang pow ahead of the Chinese New Year. 

The 29-year-old Wan Wah is nursing a swollen knee. And the veteran pair announced yesterday that they would skip the National Grand Prix Badminton Finals, which begin on Thursday at the Negri Sembilan Chinese Recreation Club (NSCRC) Hall in Seremban. 

They were favoured to win the title, which carries a prize of RM11,000. 

Wan Wah dispelled fears that an old knee injury had returned to haunt him. 

“There is nothing to worry ... I just need a week's rest,” he said. 

“The last few months had been very hectic for us and I feel very lethargic.  

DON'T RISK IT: Lee Wan Wah has decided to take a week's rest so as not to aggravate a swollen knee.

“I have been jumping a lot and my knee was quite swollen after the Copenhagen Masters in Denmark.” 

Besides the recent Copenhagen Masters, Wan Wah-Tan Fook featured in the Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysian Opens in August and were the semi-finalists on all three occasions. 

They were the runners-up in the Open tournaments in Hong Kong (Oct) and China (Nov) and emerged as the SEA Games champion in Vietnam last month. 

“When I resumed training here, my knee became more painful. It is better that I rest and not aggravate it,” said Wan Wah. 

“The prize money is good but it is not worth the risk because I want to be well-prepared for the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament next month (Feb 17-22).” 

In the absence of Tan Fook-Wan Wah, who last won the national title in 2001, Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock will replace them in Group A.  

The others pairs in the group are Ng Kean Kok-Ong Ewe Hock, Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai, Lok Chong Hong-Ong Soon Chiang. 

Group B comprise Koo Kien Keat-Gan Teik Chai, Lin Woon Fui-Hong Chien Hung, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Jack Koh, Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong. 

National doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock felt that Wan Wah had made a wise decision on not risking aggravating the injury. 

“The money is good and I know some players will play at any cost to get their hands on it.  

“It is best that he takes a rest and I have given him a one-week break.  

“He will be back to get ready for the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament,” said Kim Hock. 

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