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NST Online: Sports


Badminton / Korea Open: Doubles redeem pride

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 04:30 PM PST

2011/01/28
By K.M. Boopathy
boopathy@nst.com.my


Tan Boon Heong (front) and Koo Kien Keat avenged their Malaysia Open’s defeat to China’s Hong Wei-Shen Ye by securing a 25-23, 11-21, 21-19 win in the second round of the Korea Open yesterday.

Tan Boon Heong (front) and Koo Kien Keat avenged their Malaysia Open's defeat to China's Hong Wei-Shen Ye by securing a 25-23, 11-21, 21-19 win in the second round of the Korea Open yesterday.

LEE Chong Wei was in his element while Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong avenged their defeat to Hong Wei-Shen Ye, but only just, as they advanced to the quarter-finals of the US$1.2 million (RM3.65 million) Korea Open in Seoul yesterday.

Chong Wei demolished South Korean hope Park Sung Hwan 21-14, 21-9 in the second round to set up an interesting clash with China's rising star Wang Zhengming today.

Zhengming had a surprisingly easy 21-11, 21-14 win over compatriot Chen Jin, the world champion, to reach the last eight.


Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who were shocked in the first round of the Malaysia Open by Hong Wei-Shen Ye, had to battle right to the end to avoid another disaster by securing a 25-23, 11-21, 21-19 win in 55 minutes.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong's victory also ensured there will be a Malaysian pair in the semi-finals as they will meet compatriots Fairuzizuan Tazari-Ong Soon Hock in the last eight.

Fairuz-Soon Hock defeated Indonesia's Alvent Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan 21-18, 21-12 in just 25 minutes.


Olympic champion Lin Dan of China hardly showed any signs of the abdominal injury that floored him in the Malaysia Open as he thrashed Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-9, 21-12 to set up a quarter-final clash with Indonesian foe Taufik Hidayat.

Taufik, who struggled to beat Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong 19-21, 21-18, 21-17 yesterday, had criticised Lin Dan's tendency to withdraw from tournaments regularly and this could spice up the quarter-final encounter.

Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark also claimed a quarter-final spot by beating P. Kashyap of India 21-16, 21-13 and will meet Simon Santoso of Indonesia, who beat England's Rajiv Ouseph 21-19, 21-15, today.


Kenichi Tago of Japan edged fourth seed Chen Long of China 20-22, 23-21, 21-16 and will play another China shuttler Du Pengyu, who overcame compatriot Bao Chunlai 21-13, 21-16, in the last eight.

In the women's singles, Wong Mew Choo's aim of securing an upset over top seed Wang Xin of China didn't materialise as the Malaysian suffered a tame 21-16, 21-9 defeat in 31 minutes.

New Danish pair Mads Condrads Petersen-Jonas Rasmussen continued to impress as they toppled three-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China 21-18, 17-21, 21-13 to reach the quarter-finals.

They set up an all Danish quarter-final clash with World No 1 Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen, who beat Japan's Naoki Kawamae-Shoji Sato 21-10, 21-10.

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Basketball / ABL: Good experience for Dragons

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 04:28 PM PST

2011/01/28
Devinder Singh
devinder@nst.com.my


Westports Kuala Lumpur Dragons (in red and white) and Philippine Patriots in action at the Asean Basketball League semi-final series at MABA Stadium on Wednesday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

Westports Kuala Lumpur Dragons (in red and white) and Philippine Patriots in action at the Asean Basketball League semi-final series at MABA Stadium on Wednesday. — Picture by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

IT was not quite the end they were looking for but the Westports Kuala Lumpur Dragons can take many positives from their second season in the Asean Basketball League.

After an atrocious start when they lost their first three games, the Dragons bounced back in style by winning seven of their next eight matches to finish third in the league and qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Although they fell 2-0 to the Phillipine Patriots in their semi-finals series, the Dragons put in a much improved display than last season and built a base for an all-out assault for the championship title next year.


Local players Kwan Yoong Jing and captain B. Guganeswaran have stepped up to the plate when required and imports Nakiea Miller and Rudy Lingganay often carried the team when needed.

Dragons co-owner Datuk Wira Dani Daim certainly believes they have all the ingredients in place for a tilt at the title, with only a little tweaking needed to their well-oiled machinery.

"There has been a whole lot of improvement and we had a good chance to win the championship this season," said Wira Dani after the 95-92 loss to the Patriots at the Maba Stadium on Wednesday ended the Dragons' season.


"It's sad to go out on a losing note but I can't fault the players for effort, they played their hearts out.

"I'll always have complaints, it's my job as the co-owner, but generally I'm happy with how the season went. We wanted to get to the final, but it's a game which could have gone either way."

Coach Goh Cheng Huat and his assistants will likely be retained but Wira Dani indicated there could well be personnel changes in the squad.


"I think the coach is happy with what we've given him although I'm upset that in some games, we weren't mentally prepared," he said.

"Professional basketball is still new to Malaysia and I think we're not quite there yet in terms of mental strength. We had a good run, winning games but we started to think we were unbeatable and lost to teams we should have beaten."

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