Hendrawan keeps Hafiz out of China Open

KUALA LUMPUR: National coach Hendrawan has withdrawn Mohd Hafiz Hashim (pic) from the China Open, which begins tomorrow in Shanghai.

Hendrawan, who returned to Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said that he preferred Hafiz to spend more time in training over the next couple of weeks to get into better shape for his campaign in the Laos SEA Games next month.

“He played well in the Hong Kong Open but I still feel that his condition is not at the best. He needs to spend more time in training,” said the Indonesian.

At the Hong Kong Open, Hafiz did play above expectations and almost pulled the rug from under eventual champion Lee Chong Wei, losing the quarter-final match 21-10, 15-21, 22-24.

Hendrawan’s decision may be a wise one because Hafiz has a tough passage in the China Open. He was drawn to play against China’s Chen Long in the opening round with the winner taking on either second seed Lin Dan or Bao Chunlai.

With Hafiz out, the other Malaysians in the main draw are Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann. Four others have to play in a qualifying tournament – Kuan Beng Hong, Pei Wee Chung, Sairul Amar Ayob and Hoo Kim Long.

Top seed Chong Wei starts against Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark. In the the same half of the draw are Denmark’s Peter-Gade Christensen, whom he had beaten in the final of the Hong Kong Open last Sunday, Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, Chen Jin of China and Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia.

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