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NST Online: Sports

Badminton / Malaysia Open: Chong Wei reigns supreme

Posted: 08 May 2011 05:54 PM PDT

K.M. Boopathy

LEE Chong Wei was in majestic form yesterday, outclassing Bao Chunlai of China in the men's singles final of the Malaysia Open GP Gold for his fifth title of the year at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Star.

Chong Wei snatched a 21-9, 21-19 win over Chunlai in 42 minutes to successfully defend his title and also cement his reputation as the world's hottest player.

It was also his sixth final appearance in as many tournaments this year. He won the World Super Series Masters Finals, Malaysia Open Super Series, All England and India Open prior to the event yesterday.

His only blemish is the defeat to Lin Dan of China in the Korea Open final in January but the Malaysian had his revenge when he toppled the Olympic champion in the All England in March.

Yesterday, Chong Wei played at such a fast pace that Chunlai struggled to contain the Malaysian and was forced into making mistakes.

But the pace took some steam off Chong Wei, and this saw Chunlai giving a much better resistance midway in the second game where he was neck-and-neck before the World No 1 surged ahead at the crucial stages for a 21-19 win.

Chong Wei's 12th victory over Chunlai in 16 meeting was worth US$9,000 (RM27,000).

Chong Wei, elated that he was able to secure his fifth title and maintain his form since January, said: "I have accepted the criticism that I have failed to do well in the major events and I wanted to cultivate the winning mentality. I am confident now," said Chong Wei.

"I have to keep winning the smaller tournaments as this will also help me win the bigger events, so that winning becomes a habit.

"I want to keep maintaining this form not just for this year but until the London Olympics next year.

"Lin Dan is still my strongest rival, China's top players were not here but I want to be consistent in winning the tournaments that I compete in."

In the women's singles, Wang Xin of China secured her first title of the year when she defeated India's Saina Nehwal 13-21, 21-8, 21-14 in 48 minutes.

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Badminton / Malaysia Open: Top pair capture crown

Posted: 08 May 2011 05:50 PM PDT

K.M. Boopathy

Koo Kien Keat (right) and Tan Boon Heong beat Indonesia’s Alvent Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan 21-16, 21-7 yesterday.

Koo Kien Keat (right) and Tan Boon Heong beat Indonesia's Alvent Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan 21-16, 21-7 yesterday.

KOO Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong ended their 15-month title drought by capturing the Malaysia Open GP Gold but it was so near yet so far for mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Star yesterday.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, whose last title was the 2010 Malaysia Open Super Series, defeated Alvent Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia 21-16, 21-7 in 30 minutes.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying missed out on their second international crown when they cracked under pressure and lost 21-18, 15-21, 19-21 to Ahmad Tantowi-Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia in 57 minutes.

The Asian Championships in New Delhi last year was their first international title and they reached the semi-finals of the India Open Super Series in the same city last week.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong were fortunate that the Indonesian pair, especially Alvent, was a spent force after their earlier struggles.

Kien Keat was elated that he and Boon heong finally managed to win an international title after coming close several times.

"I think it was easy for us because the Indonesian pair probably had some injury problem or maybe were exhausted," said Kien Keat.

"This victory has given us some confidence and we must build on this win and start improving again."

National doubles coach Rexy Mainaky said Alvent couldn't perform yesterday.

"Alvent-Hendra had many tough matches and they were too tired. Kien Keat-Boon Heong have won after a long time and they must start progressing again," said Rexy.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying were in control in the second game against Ahmad Tantowi-Liliyana, leading 13-9 but Liu Ying's service fault proved decisive as the Indonesians gained the upper hand from then on.

Peng Soon said he was upset to lose and hopes to get revenge as they are expected to play Ahmad-Liliyana in the Malaysia-Indonesia tie in the Sudirman Cup in Qingdao later this month.

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