PROGRESS: Local pairs to the fore in Malaysia Open
MALAYSIA are assured of at least the men's doubles titles after four local pairs marched into the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open grand prix gold in Johor Baru yesterday.In fact, local pairs secured seven of the eight places in the quarter-finals with Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong the only ones facing foreign rivals, Kim Dae Eun-Lee Sang Joon of South Korea. The Malaysian pair won 21-14, 21-12 in 27 minutes.
The other three quarter-final clashes were all-Malaysian affairs.
Professional pair Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari defeated world junior champions Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi 21-14, 20-22, 21-17 to book a semi-final berth against Zakry-Fairuz.
Former world junior champions Ow Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming earned their first semi-final appearance after beating Vountus Indra Mawan-Lutfi Zaim Khalid 21-18, 22-20 and will play independent pair Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock, who defeated Thomas Cup squad members Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong 21-18, 21-19, today.
National men's doubles head coach Tan Kim Her said Kien Keat-Boon Heong have a good chance of winning the title but they cannot take things for granted.
"It was an easy game for Kien Keat-Boon Heong. They have a good opportunity to win a title before the London Olympics but they have to fight for it although there are no top 10 pairs to stop them here," said Kim Her in Johor Baru yesterday.
"They have played Zakry-Fairuz before and on paper they should win but I don't want Kien Keat-Boon Heong to be complacent.
"Thien How-Wee Kiong looked very tense and played without rhythm but I also must give credit to Teik Chai-Soon Hock who performed better and took their chances.
"Young pairs Kah Ming-Yan Han did well to reach the semis while Nelson-Ee Yi also played to their potential. I hope to see them going from strength to strength after this."
Women's doubles Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui shrugged off their disappointment of failing to qualify for the Olympics in defeating Japan's Yonemoto Koharu-Yuriko Miki 15-21, 21-17, 21-11 to reach the semi-finals.
In the mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying also made it to the last four after beating compatriots Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo 21-14, 23-21 and will play Riky Widianto-Puspita Dili Richi of Indonesia today.
Selected Q-Final results -- (Malaysia unless stated) Men's Singles: Lee Chong Wei bt Chong Wei Feng 21-18, 15-21, 21-8; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Sourabh Verma (Ind) 21-17, 21-14; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Takuma Ueda (Jpn) 21-16, 22-24, 21-15; Hafiz Hashim bt H.S. Prannoy (Ind) 21-14, 22-20.
Men's Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Kim Dae Eun-Lee Sang Joon (Kor) 21-14, 21-12; Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari bt Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi 21-14, 20-22, 21-17; Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock bt Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong 21-18, 21-19; Chooi Kah Ming-Ow Yao Han bt Vountus Indra Mawan-Lutfi Zaim Khalid 21-18, 22-20.
Women's Doubles: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui bt Yonemoto Koharu-Yuriko Miki (Jpn) 15-21, 21-17, 21-11; Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo bt Rie Eto-Wakita Yu 17-21 21-16 22-20.
Mixed Doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo 21-14, 23-21; Irfan Fadhilah-Weni Anggriani (Ina) bt Razif Latif-Amelia Anscelly 22-20, 17-21, 21-16.