MALAYSIA GPG 2010 – Ladies taste 1st Grand Prix Gold Gold

Both ladies’ winners at the 2010 Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Grand Prix Gold were taking their first ever title at a major event. Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong beat team-mate Zhou […]

Both ladies’ winners at the 2010 Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Gold were taking their first ever title at a major event. Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong beat team-mate Zhou Mi to nail down the women’s singles title while Thailand’s Duang Anong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul (pictured) beat Malaysia’s Ng sisters to win the women’s doubles title.  The win by Thailand meant the local fans had to be content with a single title from the all-Malaysian men’s singles final, won by Lee Chong Wei.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Hong Kong shuttler Yip Pui Yin (pictured below) is ranked #14 in the world and was silver medallist at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, yet when she stepped onto the court in Johor Bahru on Sunday to play team-mate and former world #1 Zhou Mi for the women’s singles title at the Yonex-Sunrise , it had been five years since her last international title, a minor satellite tournament.

Nor did the mighty Zhou let the title slip away without a fight, struggling for nearly an hour on court before Yip emerged the winner of the 21-16, 14-21, 21-19 battle.

It had been almost as long for the world #17 duo of Duang Anong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul, whose last international title together was in April of 2006 but again, for this pair, climbing the podium in Johor Bahru was their first brush with Grand Prix success.  The fourth seeds beat Malaysian sisters Ng Hui Lin / Ng Hui Ern 12-21, 21-17, 21-13 in the final.

Men’s doubles saw an Indonesian lock on the final despite all the quality Malaysian pairs in the draw.  The big news earlier in the tournament was the quarter-final loss by world #1 Koo/Tan to yet another upstart pair, in this case youngsters Tan Wee Kiong / Mak Hee Chun.  However, the promising Malaysians couldn’t handle their next veteran challenge and fell to Alvent Yulianto Chandra / Hendra Aprida Gunawan in two easy games.

Olympic Champions Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan had a rocky start on their path to the finals as they beat Goh/Teo in 3 and then scraped through their 2nd round match against Hoon/Ong 21-19, 19-21, 22-20.  The final against compatriots Chandra/Gunawan again involved a stutter-start by the eventual champions but they took it home 8-21, 21-17, 21-12.

Once Thailand had shut down Malaysia in women’s doubles, Indonesia and Thailand then got to duke it out to decide which would be the nation with the double doubles gold take in Johor.  Thai veterans Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam started strong but in the end it was Devin Lahardi Fitriawan (pictured) who won his first title with new partner, two-time World Champion Lilyana Natsir as they took the match 13-21, 21-16, 21-17.

Finally, it was Malaysia’s chance to put on a show in the men’s singles as their two top players, Lee Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann took to the court for their final.  Lee had been dominant all week, not losing a single game and only once spending more than half an hour on court.  However, he needed three games to seal his title defense against his solid teammate Wong 21-8, 14-21, 21-15.

From Malaysia, the tour splits and while all of the finalists are taking the next couple of weeks off, players such as Taufik Hidayat and Flandy Limpele have to incur the jetlag from their Pacific crossing to play the Yonex Canada Grand Prix.  Zulfadli Zulkifli and much of the Japanese contingent have the somewhat easier task of heading south for the Yonex Australia Grand Prix in Melbourne.

For complete results, CLICK HERE

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @