NEWS : Taufik to make a return to competition in Singapore

Discussion in 'Singapore Open 2004' started by kwun, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. kwun

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    [size=-1]The Star Online > Sports[/size]
    Wednesday October 27, 2004
    [size=+2]Taufik to make a return to competition in Singapore[/size]

    PETALING JAYA: Olympic men's singles badminton champion Taufik Hidayat will make a return to competition next month in the US$170,000 Aviva Singapore Open championships.

    The Indonesian ace is the first of the big names to be confirmed participation in the five-star tournament, which will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from Nov 15-21.

    The 24-year-old Taufik, who missed the Open last year, will start as one of the favourites. The current world number eight has fond memories of the Singapore Indoor Stadium. He was the champion of the 2001 championships there, winning an epic final against Malaysian Wong Choong Hann.

    Taufik, who trained in Singapore briefly in 2001, is popular among badminton fans in the island republic. He is trained by famed coach Mulyo Handoyo, who used to guide the Singapore number one, Indonesia-born Ronald Susilo.

    “Taufik, like Ronald, both stand a good chance of winning big tournaments like the Singapore Open,†said Mulyo, who is now back in the Indonesian training camp in Jakarta.

    “Of course, the success in the Athens Olympics puts Taufik in good stead in the long run.â€

    Chinese star Chen Hong has also confirmed that he will defend the title.

    Indonesia failed to win any of the five titles in the last two Singapore Opens. But this time, besides Taufik, they can bank on their strong doubles pairs to challenge for honours.

    Among the Indonesian entries ar the Athens Olympics bronze medallists Flandy Limpele-Eng Hian; current world number two Luluk Hadiyanto-Yulianto Alven; and 2003 All-England champions Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto.

    Flandy-Eng Hian did win the 2002 Singapore Open but then, they played under the England banner.

    Luluk-Yulianto will also pose a strong threat to the established pairs.

    The relatively new pairing climbed to a career high at world number two last week. Luluk-Yulianto won this year’s Thailand and Malaysian Opens and were the runners-up in the Malaysian and Swiss Opens.

    Candra and Sigit are forging a partnership again after competing most of this season with other partners. Sigit had partnered Tri Kusharyanto while Candra had three players as his partner in his last three tournaments.
     

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