MALAYSIA OPEN 2010 Day 3 – Injury Ups and Downs for China

Injuries produced good news and bad news for Team China in the ‘early’ matches of Day 3 at the 2010 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series as Bao Chunlai was able […]

Injuries produced good news and bad news for Team China in the ‘early’ matches of Day 3 at the 2010 Proton Super Series as Bao Chunlai was able to finish but Korea Open runners-up Zhang/Tao did not even have to start.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent, live in Kuala Lumpur.  Photos: Yves Lacroix, BadmintonPhoto (live)

China’s quarter-final bookings started far too early on Thursday afternoon.  Lee Yong Dae, after struggling with an elbow injury for several months and suffering first round defeats two weeks in a row, ended up bowing granting a walkover to Zhang Yawen / Tao Jiaming and denying Malaysian fans the chance to watch the rematch from the mixed doubles opening round in Korea, where Lee/Lee were caught by surprise on home soil by this new pair.

As for the matches China did have to play, on adjacent courts early in the day, two Chinese favourites were struggling to stay ahead of their challengers.  Wang Lin (pictured) had herself been forced to chase Korea’s Bae Seung Hee throughout much of their first game but pulled away just in time to take it 21-17.  In the second, Bae continued to chase down every shot and had enough luck at the net that she was able to catch and pass Wang at 16-15 but she just couldn’t stay consistent and Wang finished it up 21-18 and avoided the fate suffered last week by her similarly-named compatriot Wang Xin.

At almost the same moment, Nguyen Tien Minh (pictured top) of Vietnam was going on the three-point run in the home stretch that gave him the first game after he’d been trailing since the interval.  Nguyen took it 21-18 when Bao’s service return caught the wrong side of the tape. Bao lost no time in bouncing back in the second, however, and won that one 21-12 to tie things up.

In the third game, Bao Chunlai finished several points holding his left side and finally, when an reaching, angled smash went out on Nguyen’s forehand sideline to mark the interval at 11-6, Bao shook his head at his coach and signalled to the umpire that he was conceding the game.

Thailand had a less than thrilling start to the day.  In mixed doubles, Japan Open champions Songphon Anugritayawon / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul could not handle Chen Hung Ling / Chou Chia Chi, and allowed the Chinese Taipei pair to advance to the Malaysia Open quarter-finals for the second straight year. Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam struggled in their first game against Hashimoto/Fujii of Japan but managed to hold on 22-20 before dominating the second game.

In singles, Salakjit Ponsana was completely outclassed by Korea’s Bae Youn Joo, fresh off her victory over Zhou Mi yesterday.  However, the Thai men fared better, eventually.  Both Boonsak Ponsana and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk dropped a game against their respective opponents but while Boonsak won his next two handily over England’s Andrew Smith, Tanongsak (pictured) had to work very hard for nearly an hour, stretching his gangly frame all over the court to retrieve the best Przemyslaw Wacha could fire at him and contorting in mid-air to turn unlikely situations into attacking opportunities.  The 19-year-old finally finished it 19-21, 21-15, 21-17.

The longest and most competitive match of the first half of the day saw Laura Choinet / Weny Rahmawati (pictured) of France take one game before Mizuki Fujii / Reika Kakiiwa, benefiting from the support of a small cheering contingent from NEC, on whose corporate team the two play in Japan, came back to win in three.  Toward the end of the 78-minute match, the whole crowd was inspired by the gutsy play of both pairs and was particularly applauding the jump smashes of Weny Rahmawati as the French pair made a desperate attempt to get back into the deciding game.  Fujii/Kakiiwa finally took it, though, 21-23, 21-17, 21-18.

For complete results from Day 3 of the 2010 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

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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 @