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NST Online: Sports


Mahathevan's the man

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 08:34 AM PST

Mahathevan's the man


Negri Sembilan midfielder G. Mahathevan in action on  his international debut in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Hong Kong. — Picture by  Osman Adnan

Negri Sembilan midfielder G. Mahathevan in action on his international debut in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Hong Kong. — Picture by Osman Adnan

EARLY season Super League pacesetters Negri Sembilan aim to keep their perfect record intact when they take on Perak in Ipoh tomorrow.

Negri have won both their matches so far -- beating Young Tigers A 1-0 and Kuala Terengganu T-Team 3-1 at home in Paroi, although technically the latter game was an away fixture.

And this is despite the fact Negri have been unable to call upon defender Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and striker Zaquan Adha Radzak, two stalwarts of the national team still sidelined by injury.


Negri signed several players to add depth to the squad but it has turned out that one of their unlikely signings has captured attention so far.

Lanky midfielder G. Mahathevan is hard to miss on the pitch and made his international debut in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Hong Kong after starting both of Negri's matches so far.

"So far so good. I have started both matches for Negri and I'm happy to play for Malaysia for the first time.


"It has always been my ambition to aim higher and I hope it continues," said Mahathevan, 22, who could be in the frame for the Sea Games later this year.

For now, though Mahathevan is focused on keeping his place in the Negri lineup where coach Wan Jamak Wan Hassan is prepared to place his trust in the 1.90m midfielder.

"I think we should be able to win the league.


"We certainly have a good enough team to win," added the Kuala Lumpur-born Mahathevan, who previously played for Kuantan Port-Shahzan Muda, Sabah and PKNS, where he was largely a peripheral figure last season.

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Another battle looms for top two

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 07:29 AM PST

THE German Open will be provide a sneak preview of the All England as Lee Chong Wei and his nemesis Lin Dan of China are likely to cross swords in the grand prix gold event in Mulheim on March 1-6.

Chong Wei, who normally skips the German Open, has decided to compete to gain warm up before defending his All England crown in Birmingham on March 8-13.
China will also be sending world champion Chen Jin and Wang Zhengming while Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana, South Korean Park Sung Hwan and Japan's Kenichi Tago are the other notable entries in the men's singles.
Chong Wei is expected to meet Lin Dan in the final as they are the top two seeds but it remains to be seen if both players will treat the German Open seriously as their concentration will be on the more important All England.

Chan Kwong Beng is the only elite player who has made the cut for the qualifying rounds while the others didn't even make it to the reserves' list due to their low world ranking.
Men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong will face a double threat from South Korea as Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong-Ko Sung Hyun will be aiming to deny the Malaysians the title.
Both pairs have been enjoying a good run against Kien Keat-Boon Heong and further defeat in Germany will not put them in a confident mood heading into the All England.

Fairuzizuan Tazari-Ong Soon Hock and Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen are the other Malaysian pairs in the main draw while Zakry Latif-Hoon Thien How will play in the qualifying rounds.
Women's singles Wong Mew Choo also has a good opportunity to produce a decent result as the top China shuttlers are skipping the event and South Koreans Bae Youn Joo and Sung Ji Hyun will be the main challengers. — K.M. BOOPATHY

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