MALAYSIA OPEN 2012 R16 – Jan O: Good to be back!

Following Peter Gade’s goodbye early this afternoon, Gade’s fellow comrade went on court to make up the day for Denmark fans by salvaging his first win – after five straight defeats – over none other than Super Dan.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Jan O Jorgensen had managed to take a game from the mighty Lin Dan (photo) before falling in the rubber game in the Korea Open last week. This time, in the Bukit Jalil Putra Stadium, the match between the two was again pulled to a decider. But this time, it was the Dane who earned the screams and applause of the crowd.

The Dane was shy of seven points in the first game, but after a short talk with his coach, he began to fire up and grabbed the second in 21-15. The spectators showered the arena with thundering cheers as Jorgensen took a 17-8 lead in the rubber. Lin then came back by scoring six consecutive points that led to a more deafening roar from the crowd, in support of his opponent. In answer to the supportive spectators’ cheering, the Dane went on and hammered the third game 21-15, notching up his first ever victory over Lin Dan – the player Jorgensen acknowledges as the best.

Stepping backstage – where Lee Chong Wei was about to leave, fresh from defeating Kazushi Yamada in straight games – Jan O Jorgensen (photo) sat before the group of journalists who were amazed by his victory. Meanwhile, Lin Dan took the chance to leave the scene, as he held Lee Chong Wei in the shoulder and left along with the Malaysian.

While the manly Chinese was said to be seen in tears after leaving the crowd, a pleased Jorgensen, sat before the media personnel in the hall, said, “This is definitely my biggest win ever. I’m shocked. It’s like a huge dream come true. I think Lin Dan’s the best player ever and it feels good to put him under my belt.

The Dane had suffered from heart problems which caused him to withdraw from the Denmark Open in October last year. Following his mother’s passing before the World Championships approximately two months before that, Jorgensen recalled the period of downfall as the worst time of his life.

My mum died before the World Championships and I suffered an injury a week later. That was the worst time of my life. Now I’m so glad that I’ve come through. I had a good December where I trained hard and did the right things. To be able to come this high so soon, it’s amazing,” exclaimed the Dane delightfully.

“My heart, it’s beating now, so…”

Jan O Jorgensen stated that his heart problem is not much of a ‘problem’ now. His witty reply to a local journalist’s question about his heart conditions brought a bolt of laughter into the media room.

My heart is beating now, so… Well, I’m fine. I’m still running heart tests and I will go for one right after this tournament. My heart makes a double beat at times and sometimes it stops for a while. It’s quite scary but I’m getting better.

On the topic of upcoming tournaments, Jorgensen said, “Most of the other players have been playing a lot of tournaments in the past months when I haven’t played at all. That’s actually my strength because I’m so hungry. I need points. I need to win. Now I’m full of power and stamina and I’m ready to give them a hard time,” he said.

The humble Dane admitted that his competitor Lin Dan wasn’t at his best this evening, “As he had been playing a lot of tournaments, I guess he’s struggling,” but today was indeed one of the best days of Jan O’s life.

Apart from that, perhaps at the quieter end of the stadium, Juliane Schenk uprooted Malaysia’s only hope in the women’s singles and made an appointment to meet China’s third seed Wang Shixian (photo) – who breezed past Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei early today – in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

On the other hand, Liu Xin was the only one of six Chinese ladies to leave the draw by the end of the third day at the Putra Stadium, after drowning in Tine Baun’s attacks. The women’ singles ground tomorrow will host two quarters solely between Chinese comrades, while Baun and Saina Nehwal will come up with a decision on the name which will proceed into the semi-finals.

Bad news for the home crowd came late in the day as Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang became the fourth Korean pair in the last 3 months to get the better of two-time champions Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong.  The men’s doubles final eight is now down to only 3 seeded pairs as two others also suffered second round upsets.  Ironically, Malaysia will actually have two pairs in the women’s doubles quarter-finals, more even than China.

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