MALAYSIA OPEN 2010 Finals – Golden Local Boys

Koo Kien Keat (pictured) and  Tan Boon Heong now share the same fate as Lee / Jung of Korea as both pairs have won their first Super Series title of […]


Koo Kien Keat (pictured) and  Tan Boon Heong now share the same fate as Lee / Jung of Korea as both pairs have won their first Super Series title of the new decade in their respective home grounds.  Coincidentally, this is also the first time in three years for the pairs to win a title at home, where their last home ground titles were in conjunction, in the year 2007.  Lee Chong Wei on his end took his 6th title at home while China scooped the three other titles.

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

The final day of Proton 2010 started off with four Chinese ladies stepping onto the floor of the gymnasium to discover which side gold was to shine on.  And experience prevailed as the Olympic Champions Du Jing and Yu Yang (pictured below) got the first gold medals of the day by beating their compatriots 21-16, 21-12.

Ma Jin / Wang Xiaoli declared that they were not yet at the same standard of excellence as their seniors while the Beijing heroes took their victory in a quite relaxed manner: “We had no pressure at all as we were playing our own juniors.  Basically we took it as an exhibition match and played loosely because China was going to win the title anyway,” stated Yu Yang at the press conference after the match.

MALfinals-DuyuIn contrast, Wang, who was sitting alongside the titlists pointed out that they were not as skillful as Du and Yu. In reply to her partner’s words, Ma said, “There were continuous rallies and it is difficult to do well in the following ones if you hadn’t started well. I guess we’re just lacking experience compared to them.”

Du added, “We hope to have a breakthrough by winning the Asian Games and World Championships this year as we have not won those yet, after the Beijing Olympics.”

After the four ladies retreated to the backstage, the hopeful Wang Xin marched into the hall full of spectators, looking forward to grab the title in this place she calls her lucky ground. The 24-year-old was leading 14-6 in the third game when her opponent, Korean’s rising star Bae Youn Joo called for a retirement, leaving the title to Wang (see related article HERE).

6th title for Lee Chong Wei

Thai wonder Boonsak Ponsana was nowhere close to getting his revenge from Seoul last week. He bowed before the mighty Lee Chong Wei (pictured below) in 13-21, 7-21, two minutes more only than the previous time.

“Chong Wei is too fast.  I had confidence but I made too many mistakes. I’m also very tired and my footwork was slow. Anyhow, it is a good result for me to have entered the finals. I hope to get closer to beating Chong Wei if I meet him again,” said Boonsak.

MALFinals-LCWFeeling glad about defending his home ground title, Lee remarked, “I didn’t expect to be able to maintain my performance as it was hard to focus and my speed was going down after playing Du Pengyu a few days ago. I also had slight problems with the climate difference in Korea and Malaysia, but I told myself that if I felt this way, the opponents who have came from Seoul are sure to be in the same condition as well. Basically I concentrated more on my mental game than physical fitness.”

He then added, “The stadium has never been so full as how it is today. My mum has never came to see my games live either, but she’s here today. She’s the first person I went to when I won the title,” clearly expressing his gratitude to the enthusiastic spectators and the support from his family members ,who were sitting behind the court throughout the match.

New mixed to shine for China

The fairly new pair of Zhang Yawen / Tao Jiaming (pictured below) continued their amazing run as they finally grabbed hold of their very first Super Series title, after triumphing over Olympic quarter-finalists and reigning world champions  Laybourn / Rytter Juhl. Despite their victory, the Chinese said, “We’ve not decided on our targets in the future as we’re not sure if we’ll be maintained as a pair. We’ll see what changes our coach will make and we’ll think about aims later.”

MALfinals-Tao-ZhangOn the other hand, the defeated pair walked swiftly into the backstage and Laybourn disappeared into the corridor of the resting rooms, unwrapping the bandage on his ankle, before he stepped out again to share his thoughts on the defeat. Rytter Juhl sat aside while Laybourn did all the answering. “We’re disappointed. I think it was an okay-game as we had a big loss last week and we’re much closer to beating them today, but I’m still disappointed about our loss.”

Koo and Tan relive 2007

Before the curtains of the second 2010 Super Series closed, Guo Zhendong / Xu Chen were hoping to show the stadium full of spectators that they were capable of toppling the local sweethearts at home. Koo / Tan grabbed the first set in 21-15 and saw the crowd applauding even louder than before. Guo / Xu then made a good comeback in the following game, but only to lose the deciding set in 16-21, with the hysterical spectators springing from their seats, waving the national flag in their hands.

The last time the Malaysians ever won a title at home was three years ago. Feeling satisfied with their home ground title after three long years, Koo said, “We’re more focused today and I’m definitely feeling better than yesterday. We played more relaxed today and I was more daring at the net.” While Tan sat aside smiling away with his partner’s words, Koo commented on his opponents by saying, “Time will prove if they’ll merge up. I don’t know but Guo / Xu are surely coming up. They’ll probably be in the top 10 soon.”

As the spectators saw the winning pair hugging their doubles coach, Rexy, after clinching the winning point, Koo explained on the reason he hugged Rexy longer than he did his long-time partner, Tan. He said, “When I hugged Rexy, I felt that he was relieved. I think he was very tensed-up before this.” While Rexy, in return, said, “I really hoped to see Koo and Tan or even the other Malaysian pairs win in Malaysia. Thank God in the end, it’s my player who won this final.” He said with great emotion.

All results HERE

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