MALAYSIA GPG 2011 Finals – The favourites and Wang prevail

Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei was one of three to validate his top seed status in the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold finals and also one of three to win on consecutive […]

Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei was one of three to validate his top seed status in the finals and also one of three to win on consecutive weekends.

By Wilson Chew, Badzine Correspondent live in Alor Setar.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Tantowi Ahmad (pictured below) and Liliyana Natsir’s experience coupled with mistakes from Malaysia’s Goh Liu Ying made the difference in the mixed doubles final.  The Indonesians were the first of three finalists on the day to continue their winning ways from Delhi 7 days earlier.

Goh Liu Ying & Chan Peng Soon are currently at the stage of being groomed for Olympic glory and beyond and this placed high expectation on them, resulting in some very nervous play. Liu Ying’s mistakes in the second game coupled with a few bad returns forced the match into a rubber game and the Indonesian pair eventually won 18-21, 21-15, 21-19.

“They took advantage of my jittery defence and the mistakes truly robbed us of a victory today”, said Liu Ying. Nevertheless, she mentioned that she and Peng Soon can now be depended on in the mixed doubles category and both of them will continue to improve their performances with the continued training from their coach, Jeremy Gan.

Lee Chong Wei (pictured top) won the men’s singles title in commanding fashion despite a late comeback from Bao Chunlai.  Chong Wei’s excellent display in the first game and good composure in the second did the job.

“I hope my performance will continue to be consistent and this augurs well my chance of winning the gold medal at the Olympics,” said Lee.

“I started well but Bao really made it difficult for me in the second game. Although trailing, I did not want to give up,” he said. He prevailed in 2 games, 21-9, 21-19.

The women’s singles match between Saina Nehwal and Wang Xin was a match of speed and tiring an opponent. In the first game, Saina was in her element by playing accurate shots, particularly beautiful drops, to force Wang Xin to retrieve lots of shots near the net.

Wang Xin (pictured) took note of this and her speed and aggression in the second and third game made the difference as Saina was noticeably tired in third game. Wang Xin won 13-21, 21-8, 21-14.

76 minutes for 73 points with an average of just over 1 point per minute: this tells the tale of how the women’s doubles match was played. Between the pairs of compatriots who train with each other so often, the long rallies to win each point truly made the crowd very impatient and eager to see this match finished as fast as possible. The top seed pair of Maeda-Suetsana won 21-18, 21-13.

“I am glad that I was able to win both the India Open Super Series and this tournament consecutively but it was so tiring playing with my team-mates,” said Maeda.

The men’s doubles final was not as intense as expected, no thanks to the groin injury suffered by Alvent Yulianto Chandra. It is noticeable that after he received treatment before the start of the second game, the Indonesian pair decided to finish off the game. Koo Kien Keat & Tan Boon Heong (pictured) took home the title in straight games, 21-16, 21-7. Kien Keat said that although they won, they will still need to continue to polish their game. He is glad that he and Boon Heong get to win a title again after the 2010 Malaysia Open Super Series which was 16 months ago.

The prizes were graciously presented by HRH The Sultan of Kedah and the crowd stayed back to see their favourite hero, Lee Chong Wei, standing on the rostrum to receive his prize money of US$9,000 as well as Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong who won US$9,480 for their win in the men’s doubles category.

The organisers of this tournament truly had a field day with record ticket sales. All the possible places where spectators could be seated or even stand were completely filled. With this kind of support from the people in Alor Star, they will look forward to more international events to be held at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium.

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