ALL ENGLAND 2011 SF – Malaysia double boleh

Lee Chong Wei and the duo of Koo & Tan entered the final of the Yonex All England Badminton Championships with class and motivation. They will face Lin Dan and […]

Lee Chong Wei and the duo of Koo & Tan entered the final of the Yonex Badminton Championships with class and motivation. They will face Lin Dan and the pair of Boe and Mogensen with gold at stake on Sunday.

By Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

The NIA Arena never looked so good. Not completely packed but almost. With a new set up which obviously fit the new status of Premier. And the spectators got their share of fine badminton on Saturday, which ended in fireworks for Malaysia as their 3 sweethearts made it to the finals: Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.

Chong Wei had a little trouble taking his first game away from new Chinese star Chen Long – the two shuttlers scored one after the other and were never too much apart. It was only towards the end of the game that Chong Wei let his class speak and he took the first 21-19. The second one was another story. The Malaysian was much more in control and taking his time, while Chen Long was trying to put big attacks on the lines. But a racket was always standing in the way, and the shuttles were brought back to his side of the net and Lee Chong Wei took the second one easily 21-13.

Lin Dan, meanwhile, had ups and down. He did play some of his marvellous shots, but not always. Marc Zwiebler on the other side of the net was everything but ridiculous, even taking the second game from the mighty Chinese. But in the first and third games, Lin showed glimpses of what he was capable of, and the final on Sunday will be a delight to watch, especially with Chong Wei’s good form and underdog position after he lost to Lin in the Korea Open’s final 2 months ago.

“I really enjoyed this match and tried my best and have enjoyed this whole experience of the All England, said Lee Chong Wei. I feel I can still improve a little but I did feel relaxed out there today.  I am going to retire soon so this will be the second to last time I will be playing the All England.  I am going to prepare myself mentally for tomorrow’s match against Lin Dan and I hope I can beat him as I lost to him 2 months ago in Korea.

Koo, Tan, right on time

For Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, the task was even more difficult as they were to face a pair they hadn’t beaten the past 5 times, their last winning encounter being in Swizerland in 2009 – almost two years ago. This is why Koo Kien Keat was so proud and happy after the tough 21-11, 23-21 success over the Chinese. They could be favourites on Sunday – even if their opponents are world #1 Danes Boe and Mogensen – as the latter have failed to beat the Malaysians many times. Boe and Mogensen also had to bring the best of their game against a pair they’d never played before. It turned out well for the Danes, however, and they scooped their ticket to the final as well over Chai and Guo.

Because of those two particular losses in men’s doubles, China will not have a chance of sweeping the titles this year, but they will be well represented in Sunday’s finals and the mixed Xu Chen / Ma Jin (another new combination) will take on Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thongthongkam, to try to make it four for China, hoping for successes of Wang/Yu, Lin Dan and Wang Shixian.

For the first time in many years, there will not be any final between compatriots. Another good reason to watch it live on television or on Total Sports.Tv

For all  results CLICK HERE

“SEE LIVE ACTION from the YONEX ALL ENGLAND online at” is broadcasting all Super Series tournaments in 2011 and will be broadcasting the “ONE NIGHT WITH STARS” event from March 22nd  2011 with all profits going to Solibad – Badminton without Borders.

If you are coming for the All England Championships, or whenever you visit Birmingham, try Badzine’s partner hotel, the City Nites Apartments. Offering fully-serviced apartments, it is a stylish setting for long or short-term business people and visitors, and a great place to stay during the All England Championships.

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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.