MALAYSIA NATIONALS – Chong Wei breaks record; Koo/Tan back on track

Three of the five top seeds were crowned on Sunday in the tiny KBA Hall in Alor Star for the Proton Malaysia Grand Prix finals (the equivalent of National Championships). […]

ImageThree of the five top seeds were crowned on Sunday in the tiny KBA Hall in Alor Star for the Proton Malaysia finals (the equivalent of Championships). Lee Chong Wei beat Tan Chung Seang 21-17, 21-7 and broke the record of 6 consecutive wins in a championships. Lee’s six titles match the total won by his mentor Misbun Sidek but the latter wasn’t able to take his six in a row as he lost the title in 1983 and 85.

By Samuel Chai (live) and Raphael Sachetat.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Chong Wei looks quite invincible on home ground, both in national and international competition, having won the Proton Malaysia Open this past January. The top up-and-comer Tan Chun Seang was up against the world’s number 2 player, but the latter was simply a class above the 21-year-old. Tan only managed to win a couple of points due to several mistakes by Lee, who sent the shuttle wide at the baseline. The World #2 displayed some of his trick shots on many occasions to thrill the crowds and in the end, it was a onesided affair as Lee tied the record of his coach, Misbun Sidek, by completing a string of 6 consecutive Malaysia GP Final titles.

Lee said in a post-match interview that it might be the last chance for him to compete in a National Level tournament; however that is only his personal thought as he would need to get consent from BAM.

For Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, things seem to be a bit better after the obvious media clash when Rexy Mainaky put in doubt their qualification for the Beijing Olympics. After a convincing win over nemeses Lee and Choong, the young duo went on to beat fellow training partners Ong and Tan in three games as well 21-14, 14-21, 21-17.

They are slowly gaining back their winning momentum, after defeating the senior pair of the team and world number 3, Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah in the semi-final a day before, they were pretty confident going into the final. During the post-match interview, Koo said that they were delighted at winning their first title of the year and that they hope this win will boost their confidence ahead for their tougher task in the upcoming Badminton Asia Championships, which will attract some of Asia’s best men’s doubles pairs.

The events had started earlier with the battle of two young mixed doubles pairs. Mohd Razif Abdul Latif (younger brother of Swiss Open Super Series semi-finalist Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif), partnered with Chong Sook Chin, played calmly and upset the reigning World Champions and the top seeds here, Lim Khim Wah/Ng Hui Lin. They did not drop a single game en route to their maiden title in the National Grand Prix Finals. They won the match 21-7, 21-19 in 30 minutes.
The women’s singles final surprised many spectators as the 17-year-old Junior Tee Jing Yee from Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) stretched Malaysian #2 Julia Wong into to a rubber game.  Julia won it mainly due to her experience competing on the international stage. She admitted having made too many unforced errors in the second game but said she was satisfied with the results. Julia Wong won 21-13, 14-21, 21-10 in 45 minutes.

All results live HERE

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Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.