KUALA LUMPUR: Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying added another feather to their cap by becoming the first Malaysian mixed doubles pair to win a Super Series title at the Japan Open badminton championships in Tokyo yesterday.
Lee Chong Wei made it a grand double for Malaysia by winning the singles title in the China-boycotted tournament. The world No. 2 beat Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana 21-18, 21-18 for his third Japan Open crown.
However, Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat fell to a South Korean pair in the men’s doubles final.
The day certainly belonged to Peng Soon-Liu Ying. The top national mixed pair have already achieved many firsts this year – reaching their first Super Series semi-finals at the Malaysian Open and the semi-finals of the All-England, – just to name a few.
They went one better in Tokyo by beating Indonesia’s Muhammad Rijal-Liliyana Natsir 21-12, 21-19 for their second title of the year after their triumph in the Malaysian Open GP Gold in May.
World No. 2 Chong Wei survived a spirited challenge from Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana to ease the heartache of losing to China’s Lin Dan in the London Olympics final. Chong Wei won 21-18, 21-18.
“It was a really good match but tough. This is my first tournament after the Olympics and I’m very happy to win again. At least now I can put the London disappointment behind me,” Chong Wei told AFP.
World No. 7 Peng Soon-Liu Ying put on a dominate performance against their Indonesian opponents.
The soft-spoken Liu Ying, in particular, was excellent at the net and the duo easily took the first game 21-12.
But despite slacking off a little in the second game, Peng Soon-Liu Ying rallied from 18-19 down to score three consecutive points and land their biggest ever title.
“I’m really happy right now for creating history,” said a jubilant Peng Soon through a text message.
“This is a great result for me and Liu Ying and it will certainly motivate us to work harder and achieve even better results in future.”
But there was only disappointment for top men’s doubles pair Kien Keat-Boon Heong who failed to end their title drought.
The duo, who have been given yet another chance to come good, lost 16-21, 19-21 to young Korean pair Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang.
It was their second defeat to the upcoming Koreans and their uninspiring performance will certainly not help convince the doubters that they can make their partnership work again.
Promising Taiwanese teenager Tai Tzu Ying took advantage of the absence of the China players to grab the women’s singles title with a stunning comeback win over local favourite Eriko Hirose. Tzu Ying won 9-21, 21-9, 21-14.
Men’s Singles: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Boonsak Ponsana
(Tha) 21-18, 21-18.
Men’s Doubles: Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor) bt Koo Kien
Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) 21-16, 21-19.
Women’s Singles: Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) bt Eriko Hirose (Jpn) 9-21,
Women’s Doubles: Poon Lok Yan-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt
Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Jpn) 21-17, 22-20.
Mixed Doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) bt
Muhammad Rijal-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) 21-12, 21-19.