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Discussion in 'South East Asian Games 2003' started by seven, Oct 29, 2003.
News about the Vietnam SEA Games...
Malaysia delight in Sujitra’s absence
By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian women shuttlers can look forward to winning a gold medal in the Vietnam SEA Games in the absence of defending singles champion E. Sujitra of Thailand.
Women's doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit said that Sujitra injured her knee during the Busan Asian Games last year and she was no longer an active badminton player.
The SEA Games badminton competitions will be played in Ho Chi Minh City from Dec 6-14.
“Sujitra will not be representing Thailand in the SEA Games. At the KL SEA Games (2001), she competed in both the singles and doubles events. In her absence, the fight will now be narrowed down to the Malaysians and Indonesians,” said Soon Kit.
Malaysia will not be taking part in the women's team event. Wong Mew Choo will be the sole representative in the singles event besides the doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty.
“Mew Choo and Eei Hui-Pei Tty have a chance to end Malaysia's long wait for a gold medal in the women's events,” said Soon Kit.
Malaysia last won a gold medal through Slyvia Ng in the 1971 Manila Games. At the last SEA Games, the women's doubles pair of Ang Li Peng-Lim Pek Siah came close to winning Malaysia's first doubles gold medal. They were beaten by Deyana Lomban-Vita Marissa of Indonesia in the final.
Soon Kit added that he had high hopes on Eei Hui-Pei Tty to emerge as the champions in Vietnam.
“They have been doing well this year. They reached the quarter-finals in the Malaysian Open and the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) in Jakarta,” he said.
“In the Malaysian Open, they lost to Indonesian Jo Novita-Lita Nurlita (world number 10). It was a close fight and this same Indonesian pair will be their main rivals in Vietnam.
“At the ABC meet, they went down fighting to South Korea's Ra Kyung-min-Lee Kyung-won. There have made a marked improvement in their game.”
As part of the preparation for the Games, Eei Hui-Pei Tty have been selected to represent Malaysia in the Opens in Taiwan (Nov 4-9) and China (11-16).
The world number 21pair are also expected to make the cut for the Athens Olympics next year.
The other pairs in the national women's squad are Norhasikin Amin-Fong Chew Yen and See Phui Leng-Marilyn Pang. Another doubles player, Tania Teoh, underwent a knee surgery and is currently on a rehabilitation programme.
Malaysia concede it will be tough in Vietnam
By LIM TEIK HUAT
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are only setting a target to win 48 gold medals in the 22nd SEA Games, which will be held in Vietnam from Dec 5-13.
At the last Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2001, Malaysia won 111 gold medals to emerge as the overall champions for the first time in the series.
But in a meeting at the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday, the team managers, in giving an assessment of their sports’ chances to win medals, significantly pared down the forecast.
The Games will be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and Malaysia will compete in 27 of the 32 sports. They will not vie for honours in canoeing, shuttlecock juggling, wrestling, fin swimming and traditional boat race.
The chef-de-mission of the contingent to Ho Chi Minh City, Datuk Ho Koh Chye, said that Malaysia were in a different position this time because a number of sports that contributed a significant number of medals at the last Games were not in the programme this time.
Among the sports omitted from the programme are tenpin bowling, lawn bowls, hockey, golf, squash, equestrian, sailing and netball.
At the KL Games, Malaysia raked in a total of 32 gold medals from these sports.
“Some of the athletes who contributed gold medals in the last Games have also retired, notably in swimming and diving,” said Koh Chye.
Swimmers Elvin Chia, Anthony Ang and Sia Wai Yen accounted for five gold medals. But they have quit competitive swimming.
Malaysia made a clean sweep of eight gold medals in diving two years ago but Yeoh Ken Nee, Azheem Bahari and Rossharisham Roslan are no longer in the national squad.
“From the choice of sports in the programme, Vietnam will probably be the overall champions,” said Koh Chye.
“They have increased the number of events for martial arts sports in which they excel, including silat and wushu. There are 28 gold medals in wushu alone.”
Koh Chye added that Malaysia were also strong contenders for medals in the martial arts sports of karate, wushu and silat as proven in the last Games but they had to face up to reality this time.
“Vietnam are the hosts. When it comes to subjective sports, previous Games have showed that the hosts always tend to do well,” said Koh Chye.
The NSC are expecting the bulk of gold medals to come from athletics, aquatics, karate, gymnastics, shooting, karate, wushu and silat. These sports are expected to deliver at least three gold medals each.
Badminton, basketball, bodybuilding, billiards and snooker, sepaktakraw, cycling, weightlifting are also expected to contribute at least one gold medal each.
Of the 27 sports in which Malaysia will feature in, 17 of them are under the NSC’s programme for the 2006 Asian Games.
All the athletes in the contingent for the Games will check into camp at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil on Nov 16.
They will leave for Vietnam in batches with the football team being the first on Nov 25. The last batch will leave on Dec 6 and they will be the teams from wushu, rhythmic gymnastics, taekwondo, snooker and billiards.
Chinese test for national shuttlers
THE national shuttlers will get a much needed practice next month as they prepare for the Vietnam SEA Games.
The Chinese BA informed their Malaysian counterparts that they would host a friendly match a day after the China Open on Nov 17.
The tournament is scheduled from Nov 11-16.
Malaysia were supposed to play against China in April but the match was called off following the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Instead, BAM hosted the match in Alor Star in August which the Chinese won 5-0.
"We will send a squad to play against China but the composition is yet to be decided," said BAM secretary Ganga Rao yesterday.
"The coaches will be asked to submit a list of players after the on-going Hong Kong Open." The China Open will be held in Guangzhou but the friendly is expected to take place in Shenzen.
Malaysia are expected to field Wong Choong Hann, Lee Tsuen Seng and Lee Chong Wei in the singles while the doubles are expected to be made up of veterans Lee Wan Wah-Choong Tan Fook and Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai.
Kim Wai is replacing Chan Chong Ming who underwent a shoulder operation recently and is out of the SEA Games.
Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Roslim Hashim were not listed for the China Open because of the fasting month.
Shuttlers to shuttle between camp and training centre
KUALA LUMPUR: The national shuttlers for the Vietnam SEA Games will have to literally go the extra mile next month.
The players currently stay and train at the Juara Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara here. But they will be asked to join the camp for athletes in the contingent at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil.
Although staying at the National Sports Council's (NSC) hostel in Bukit Jalil is not compulsory for all athletes, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary, Gangga Rao, said that they did not mind joining it.
“They will put up for the night in Bukit Jalil and travel by bus to train in Bukit Kiara for the morning sessions. This will allow them to join team-building activities at the camp,” he said.
“We had the same arrangements for the Commonwealth Games and they ran without a hitch.”
In 1998, the shuttlers were based at the BAM Academy in Cheras.
The athletes in the Games contingent will check into camp on Nov 16. However, the shuttlers will only check in three days later after they return from the China Open in Guangzhou. The shuttlers are also down to play an exhibition tie against the Chinese team on Nov 17.
The singles players in the team for the SEA Games are Wong Choong Hann, Lee Tsuen Seng, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Roslin Hashim. The doubles pairs are Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chang Kim Wai-Chew Choon Eng.
The women's team comprise Wong Mew Choo and the doubles pair of Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui.
Thai threat to our shuttlers
BY RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s men’s singles shuttlers will be hard pressed to defend the gold medal at next month’s Vietnam SEA Games in Ho Chi Minh City.
Thailand’s Boonsak Polsana has placed himself as one of the favourites for the SEA Games crown following his recent inspiring performances at the US$250,000 Hong Kong Open.
The 21-year-old law student from Bangkok was in excellent form on the badminton courts at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium last week. He knocked out second seed Lee Hyun-il of South Korea and reigning world champion Xia Xuanze of China en route to the final, where he went down fighting to Lin Dan of China.
At the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Roslin Hashim defeated Boonsak in the singles final to end Malaysia’s 28-year wait for a gold medal in the Games. Malaysia also won the men’s team gold after a lapse of 10 years in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia will again be represented by Nusa Mahsuri’s Roslin and BAM’s Wong Choong Hann in the men’s singles event in Vietnam.
Admitting that it would be a tough task in Vietnam, national singles chief coach Misbun Sidek said: “The SEA Games men’s singles will be keenly contested. Boonsak played very well in Hong Kong and he will be the player to watch out for in Vietnam.
“Choong Hann has lost to him before while Roslin’s never had an easy match against him. It will be tough. Besides Thailand, we will also have to keep an eye on our archrivals Indonesia. Hopefully, our players will be at peak form at the Games.”
Choong Hann, the runner-up in this year’s World Championships, is seen as the best bet to retain the singles gold medal for Malaysia.
A good gauge of where he stands against Boonsak will come in the Taiwan Open, which starts tomorrow. Choong Hann meets the Thai in the first round.
Besides Malaysia and Thailand, Indonesia will also be out to pose a threat through two-time Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
The participation of Taufik Hidayat, who was eliminated by Hong Kong’s Johan Hadikusuma in the third round of the Hong Kong Open, in the SEA Games is in doubt.
The Indonesian Open champion has been dropped from the national training centre and has been without a coach since the Denmark Open in September. However, he has vowed to regain a place in the national team to mount a strong challenge in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
SEA Games/Badminton: Keeping Chong Wei in check
Nov 12: HAVING seen protégé Hafiz Hashim slip into a rut after his failure to handle the instant fame that came with his All-England singles title last February, national coach Misbun Sidek is taking precautionary measures to ensure that rising star Lee Chong Wei doesn’t trudge the same path.
Chong Wei surprised the badminton world by emerging runner-up in the Malaysia Open last August and a string of fine results since have propelled him into the top 20 after beginning the year as World No 125.
Misbun said that Chong Wei has the potential to be a world class player but he does not want to spoil the 21-year-old shuttler by giving him too many easy breaks.
This is the reason why Lee Tsuen Seng was considered ahead of Chong Wei for the Vietnam Sea Games although the latter is in better form currently.
"Hafiz could not handle the situation after winning the All-England and he has been paying for it throughout the year. I don’t want Chong Wei to go through the same problem," said Misbun.
"Many have questioned my choice to include Tsuen Seng and not Chong Wei for the Sea Games. The logical reason is that Tsuen Seng plays well in team events while Chong Wei is inexperienced.
"However, my main aim is to safeguard Chong Wei from falling prey to the problems faced by Hafiz. Chong Wei gets carried away in tournaments at times and I need to stop this now.
"Once he performs consistently and remains level-headed, Chong Wei will earn his spot for the major events."
Although Tsuen Seng has been performing below par since reaching the last eight of the All-England, his experience of playing in the 2002 Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup this year counted when Misbun picked his squad.
Tsuen Seng will only play in the team event in Ho Chi Minh City as Wong Choong Hann and Roslin Hashim have been entered for the singles.
Hafiz suffered a wrist injury during the Hong Kong Open two weeks ago and there is a possibility that Tsuen Seng will fill up the third singles spot in the team event.
Malaysia should have no problems reaching the final and Tsuen Seng’s contribution will be crucial in the likely final against Indonesia.
Should Malaysia meet Indonesia, Tsuen Seng is expected play Simon Santoso who has shown marked improvement this year.
Simon has already beaten Tsuen Seng and Misbun said it will be a 50-50 situation in the third singles.
"I know that Chong Wei should beat Santoso but the selection is not based on one match alone.
"Chong Wei has a good future and he will be considered for many international events as long as he does not let a little success go to his head."
The fact that Chong Wei lost to compatriot Yeoh Kay Bin in the Indian Open satellite final last month, a tournament he should have won hands down, did not help.
Chong Wei was also given a stern warning several months ago for hurling his racquet during a practice match and it has brought about a positive change.
And Misbun does not want see Chong Wei in troubled waters again as he is just beginning to blossom into a top class international player.
Vietnam Sea Games/Build-Up: Misbun extends lifeline to Tsuen Seng
Nov 13: NATIONAL coach Misbun Sidek has not given up hope on reviving Lee Tsuen Seng’s troubled career and is hopeful that the rebuilding process can begin with the Vietnam Sea Games.
While his compatriots have shown marked improvement this year, Tsuen Seng has been heading in the opposite direction. His recent performances on the international circuit have raised concerns that the 24-year-old's playing career could come to a premature end. But despite his poor run, Misbun has given Tsuen Seng a lifeline by including him in the Sea Games squad where he will play in the team event.
Due to his experience playing in the Thomas and Sudirman Cups, Tsuen Seng will feature regularly in Malaysia's line-up as the third singles. Misbun said that Tsuen Seng had been doing well when playing the International Badminton Federation's (IBF) seven-point scoring system which was terminated in June last year but has failed to adjust to the more rigorous training of the more demanding 15-point system. "While the rest (of the players) adapted quickly to the old system (15-point), Tsuen Seng is still living in the seven-point scoring era. Damage may have been done but he is starting to realise his mistakes," said Misbun. "Hopefully his road to recovery will begin in the Sea Games. Although questions have been raised about his inclusion, I have faith in him. "Tsuen Seng has been working hard in training and I am looking forward to a better showing from him in the Sea Games." The Malaysia Open in September and the Asian Championships in Jakarta last month were his worst outings. Tsuen Seng was humiliated by Indonesian junior Simon Santoso in the first round of the Malaysia Open and suffered a straight-games defeat to Hong Kong's Agus Haryanto in the quarter-final of the Asian Championships. Tsuen Seng was at the receiving end of a tongue lashing from Misbun for those defeats as both the players he lost to were not established internationals. Misbun believes Tsuen Seng has learnt from his mistakes and the chances are good that he will start producing results next year.
Before that can happen, Tsuen Seng must use the Sea Games to prove to his coach and everyone else that he is on the right track.
so sad about hafiz hashim.....
anyway,hope choon han and tan fok/wan wah can bring the gold medal.
The Star Online - Chong Wei to replace injured Hafiz
KUALA LUMPUR: National singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei has been given a big break to compete in his first ever team competition.
Yesterday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) named the 20-year-old Chong Wei for the badminton team to replace the injured Mohd Hafiz Hashim for next month's SEA Games in Vietnam.
And the jubilant Penangite has vowed to justify his selection.
“This is great. Playing in the SEA Games team event is just the first step towards playing in major team event like the Thomas Cup Finals. This is my first team outing and I hope to gain as much experience as possible,” said Chong Wei in a telephone interview from China.
“If I am fielded in any of the Malaysian ties during the Games, I will certainly be out to win a point,” added Chong Wei, who is currently ranked 19th in the world, just three rungs below Hafiz.
Hafiz, the All-England champion, has been ruled out from the Games following a wrist injury picked up during the US$250,000 Hong Kong Open early this month.
Chong Wei proved he is the best candidate to replace Hafiz following his good run in international tournaments this year.
He was the Malaysian Open singles runner-up and he reached the quarter-finals of the Dutch and Danish Opens. Prior to the Malaysian Open, he has never gone beyond the last eight stage in an Open tournament.
The others in the four-member team for the Games are Wong Choong Hann, Mohd Roslin Hashim and Lee Tsuen Seng.
Besides the team event, Choong Hann and Roslin will also be taking part in the individual event. A country is only allowed to field two players or two pairs for the individual events.
In the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games two years ago, Malaysia won the men's singles and team gold medals. Roslin ended a 28-year wait for the men's singles crown while the team led by Choong Hann ended a 10-year drought.
New Strait Times Interactive - Li Li leads Games double-gold hunt
By Marc Lim
SINGAPORE, which have only one South-east Asia Games badminton gold medal to date, can double their total in Ho Chih Minh City from Dec 5-13.
This is the first time a Singapore shuttler has been made the top seed at the SEA Games and the privilege goes to Li Li and the women's team. -- ONG CHIN KAI
Commonwealth Games champion Li Li and the women's team have been top seeded for their respective events.
It has been since 20 years since Wong Shoon Keat created a major surprise at the Singapore Badminton Hall to win the individual title.
Ten years later, Zarinah Abdullah won the women's individual bronze.
Ronald Susilo, ranked behind Indonesian Sony Dwi and Malaysian Wong Choon Hann, is the only Singaporean capable of repeating Shoon Keat's feat. With Malaysian Hafiz Hashim injured, his brother Roslin has been named fourth seed.
The scenario is brighter in the women's draw where, apart from Li Li, there is also Xiao Luxi, the third seed. Squeezed between them is Thai Salakjit Polsana.
The two Singaporeans will also spearhead the Republic's challenge in the team event which include Liu Fan, Jiang Yanmei and Tan Li Si.
Said Singapore Badminton Association executive director Jacqueline Lim: 'The favourable draw has increased our chances of winning more medals. But we must not underestimate our opponents.'
Li Li has a first-round bye and will not face Salakjit until the final - if the Thai has not been knocked out by Luxi.
The singles seedings mirror the International Badminton Federation's, where the Thai is ranked 35th, six rungs below the Singaporean.
For 19-year-old Li Li, the priority remains the team gold. 'My heart is set on a team gold because it is the first time we are all representing Singapore,' said Li Li.
'Besides, our chances are really good. We get a bye and then need only two wins to get the gold. We will be less affected by fatigue.'
The women's team are already assured of a bronze and will meet either the Philippines or Vietnam for a place in the final.
Susilo will have a relatively easy passage, his real test coming in the semi-finals where he is likely to face Choon Hann.
The Star Online - Choong Hann sets out to win his first SEA Games individual gold
By LIM TEIK HUAT
SEPANG: After reaching two successive finals, Malaysian number one Wong Choong Hann will be aiming to end the year with a bang.
He has set his sights on winning his first individual men's singles badminton title in the Vietnam SEA Games next month.
Choong Hann returned home yesterday after impressive outings in the Open tournaments in Taiwan and China.
He failed to become the only player to win back-to-back international titles this year, losing to China's Lin Dan in the China Open final.
But he still returned home very much a winner. He lifted the Taiwan Open title a week earlier, coming from behind to beat Indonesian youngster Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the final. En route to the final Choong Hann defeated Thailand's Boonsak Polsana and Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat in the first and third round respectively.
Choong Hann, buoyed by his performance in bagging his first international title of the year, feels that he has a good chance to win his first individual title in the SEA Games.
“I am feeling good about my chances. I believe I am in good form ahead of the Games. I am happy to have regained my form just before the end of the season,” said Choong Hann on his arrival at the airport here from Shenzhen.
Besides the Taiwan and China Open, the Malaysian southpaw also reached the final of the World Championships in Birmingham in July, losing to Xia Xuanze of China.
However, he has yet to win the SEA Games men's singles title since he first donned national colours for a major team assignment – the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
He settled for silver in the 1999 Games in Brunei, losing narrowly to Taufik. At the last Games in Kuala Lumpur, he was only fielded in the doubles partnering Lee Wan Wah.
On his narrow defeat by Lin Dan, Choong Hann said that he did not feel sad over the failure to retain the China Open title.
“I am satisfied with my performance. I feel that with a little bit more luck, I could have won the title,” he said.
Lin Dan, who had the luxury of an extra day's rest after compatriot Zhu Weilin handed him a walkover, defeated the Choong Hann 17-16, 15-12.
For the SEA Games, Choong Hann's work has been already been cut out.
“I will spend the next two weeks to study the opponents and try to vary my game,” said Choong Hann, who has been seeded second behind Sony at the Vietnam Games.
The Star Online - Malaysian shuttlers will have to deal with arch-rivals in semis
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Unlike previously, Malaysia have been drawn to play against arch rivals Indonesia in the semi-finals of the men's badminton team competition at the SEA Games in Vietnam next month.
Indonesia have pulled a surprise by deciding to leave out their seniors from the competition. With their top ranked players out of the fray, Indonesia have been seeded third for the first time.
Defending champions Malaysia, who will be at full strength, are the top seeds ahead of Thailand. Singapore are the fourth seeds.
The Indonesians have opted to leave out Taufik Hidayat from their singles line-up. Also out are the vastly experienced doubles pairs of Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian and Candra Wijaya-Halim Haryanto.
Leading the Indonesian singles charge is two-time Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) Championships winner Sony Dwi Kuncoro and up-and-coming youngsters Wimpie Mahardi and Simon Santoso. Sony and Wimpie will also play in the individual men's singles.
Youngsters Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto, the current world number 15, and Markis Kidho-Hendra Setiawan make up their cast.
Sony, who is ranked sixth in the world, is the top seed for the individual singles ahead of Malaysian number one Wong Choong Hann. Singapore's Ronald Susilo and defending champion Roslin Hashim of Malaysia are the third and fourth seeds respectively.
Thai veterans Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas are ttop seeded in the men's doubles. The second seeds are Malaysian veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah.
The seedings and draws for the respective events were made yesterday but the organisers will only release the full lists today.
The ABC secretary, Datuk Punch Gunalan, confirmed in a telephone interview from Ho Chi Minh City yesterday that based on the draw, Malaysia would have to play against Indonesia in the semi-finals while Thailand and Singapore are expected to clash in the other half.
“The seedings for the SEA Games badminton competitions are based on the players' latest world rankings and not on their previous performances,” he said.
It is obvious that the Indonesians chose not to be at full strength because they wanted to test their juniors ahead of their defence of the Thomas Cup title in Jakarta in May.
Although they will be without the established stars, Indonesia are still a force to be reckoned with.
National singles head coach Misbun Sidek cautioned against treating Indonesia lightly.
“Even though it looks like we have a good chance of winning the team gold for the second time, I am more concerned about the performance of the players as they tend to be inconsistent at times,” he said.
“They cannot underestimate the opponents. If we are not careful, we might not even get the silver.
“Even Choong Hann has to be careful against Sony, who took him to three games in the final of the Taiwan Open recently. Simon Santoso defeated Lee Tsuen Seng in the first round of the Malaysian Open.
“We also have to see whether the doubles players can contribute a point in the team.”
Besides Choong Hann, Roslin and Tsuen Seng, the other Malaysian singles player in the team is Lee Chong Wei, who comes in as a replacement for the injured Mohd Hafiz Hashim.
For the doubles, Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai will form the second pair for Malaysia.
NSTP - SEA Games/Badminton: Indonesia in the way
THOUGH it was a day to be cherished, the Malaysian badminton squad stood in horror as they saw on the television sets in the hotel lobby the twin towers in New York tumble one after the other.
The day was Sept 11, 2001 and Malaysia were in the process of dethroning Indonesia as the gold medallist in the team event in the SEA Games at the Stadium Melawati Shah Alam.
This was when the world was hit with the deadliest terrorist attack.
What the players underwent that night is best summed up by doubles player Lee Wan Wah.
“I was cheering Wong Choong Hann in the third singles as we were on the verge of wining the gold when I my friend called informing me of what was unfolding in New York,” said Wan Wah.
“My first instinct was that he was pulling my leg but when we got to the hotel, reality sunk in.”
Two years on, Malaysia will have another battle on their hands as they try to deny Indonesia the team gold medal yet again.
In the draw yesterday, Malaysia have been given the top seeding with Thailand seeded second, Indonesia third and Singapore fourth.
That means Malaysia will have to contend with Indonesia in the semis.
In the individual event, Malaysia’s best hope for gold is Choong Hann who ended his drought by winning the Taiwan Open.
Choong Hann has been seeded second for the SEA Games.
Sony Dwi Kuncoro has been given the top billing for the individual event but Choong Hann has defeated the Indonesian in the World Championships, Malaysian and Taiwan Open with the only defeat in the Swiss Open this year.
“My best form was during the World Championships and though I made the final of the China Open I still feel I can lift my performance another notch,” said Choong Hann upon arriving from Ghuanzhou yesterday.
Roslin Hashim who won the gold in 2001 has been seeded fourth but his form has not been up to mark.
But never discount the threat posed by Roslin as he is quite capable of upstaging the more fancied players when they least expect it.
New Strait Times Online - SEA Games/Badminton: Troubled Indons pave golden path
Nov 19: MALAYSIA, who received top billing in the men’s team event yesterday, are in an ideal position to defend their gold medal as arch-rivals Indonesia, seeded third, are competing in the Sea Games with a depleted side.
Malaysia are drawn to meet Indonesia in the semi-finals but have little to worry about as singles ace Taufik Hidayat and top doubles pairs Candra Wijaya-Halim Haryanto and Flandy Limpele-Eng Hian have been dropped by the Indonesia BA (PBSI) as the players were unhappy with the team selection.
According to sources, Taufik had already left the National Training Centre in Cipayung, Jakarta as he was said to have demanded that Candra should resume his combination with former partner Sigit Budiarto.
PBSI, who never bow to player-power, seemed to have even put their Sea Games campaign in jeopardy by leaving their star shuttlers out of the Games squad.
The new-look squad comprises singles players Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Whimpie Mawardi and Simon Santoso and doubles pairs Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto and Markis Khido-Hendra Setiawan. All seven players will be making their Sea Games debuts.
Initially, Malaysia had only targeted the men’s singles gold but they could return with the men’s team and doubles gold medals as well.
Malaysia have named Wong Choong Hann, Lee Chong Wei, Lee Tsuen Seng and Roslin Hashim and doubles pairs Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai.
The Indonesian line-up suggests that Malaysian can even wrap-up the expected semi-final clash in the team event just on the strength of their singles.
In the singles, Choong Hann, the second seed, should have no problems reaching the final while defending champion Roslin could even make it an all-Malaysian final if he can upset top seed Sony in the semi-finals.
In the doubles, Tan Fook-Wan Wah are good bets for gold and it is not the Indonesians but Thais who are expected to challenge the Malaysians.
On paper, Tan Fook-Wan Wah are likely to meet 1999 gold medallists Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas of Thailand in the final but current form favours the Malaysians to win.
Malaysia won two gold, one silver and seven bronze medals in 2001 but could do better in Vietnam, thanks to the troubled Indonesians.
New Straits Times Interactive - A glimmer in Susilo's Games hopes
By Peh Shing Huei
A FURIOUS spat in the Indonesian national team has brightened Ronald Susilo's hopes of getting Singapore's first badminton gold medal in the South-east Asia Games in two decades.
But the Singaporean world No 14 is not getting excited just yet.
After the draw and seedings for the Games were conducted on Tuesday, one name was missing conspicuously from the entries for the men's singles - Indonesia's former world No 1 Taufik Hidayat.
According to sources, Taufik had problems with the Indonesian national team after a bust-up with coach Joko Suprianto at the Denmark Open two months ago.
Malaysia's New Straits Times then reported that he was thrown out of the team after demanding that team-mate Candra Wijaya pair up with former partner Sigit Budiarto.
Candra and Sigit, former world doubles champions, will also not be at the Games in Ho Chi Minh City from Dec 5 to 13.
Said Susilo: 'It's good news for me. I need to face one fewer good player. But it's a pity for Indonesia. Taufik can at least deliver a medal for Indonesia. Such a waste.'
Taufik is the only shuttler in the region who has consistently beaten Susilo. All three previous encounters finished in favour of the Indonesian.
But even without his nemesis, Susilo is not dreaming of gold.
Said the SEA Games' third seed: 'While Taufik is the one who has been beating me, his form hasn't been that great lately. There are more dangerous ones around.'
They include top seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia.
Without Taufik, he is Indonesia's main hope, and the stylish attacking player is in good form after defending his Asian Championships title last month.
In their only meeting, he defeated Susilo 15-9, 15-13 at the World Championships in August.
Besides Sony, Susilo's main threat will be Malaysia's second seed Wong Choong Hann.
The lanky World Championships runner-up snagged the Chinese Taipei Open earlier this month, and then came in second at the China Open.
He is likely to be Susilo's opponent in the semi-finals in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh Sportive Competition Hall.
Said Singapore Badminton Association executive director Jacqueline Lim: 'We hope Susilo can at least make the semi-finals. But from then on, he will be the underdog against Wong and Sony.'
Indeed, Susilo's form has been patchy of late.
His best performances after the Sars-induced moratorium on the international badminton calendar came in August's Singapore and Indonesia Opens, where he made it to the last eight.
After that, the 24-year-old was knocked out in the round of 16 in the German and Denmark Opens.
And at his last Grand Prix event, he was beaten 15-17, 8-15 by Thailand's Boonsak Polsana in the first round of the six-star Hong Kong Open.
Said Susilo: 'Even without Taufik, it's not going to be easy. Someone like Boonsak can also be a surprise winner.
'We all have equal chances to beat each other, so I'm not thinking of gold. Just play.'
The Star Online - Our men shuttlers may make clean sweep in Vietnam Games
BY LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia, riding on the strength of their badminton men’s team, have a good chance to surpass their best-ever haul of 2-1-7 in the Vietnam SEA Games next month.
From the draw released by the organisers yesterday, the men could make a clean sweep of all three titles at stake and give the country more than the targeted one-gold medal.
Although Indonesia have decided to entrust their challenges for honours on the youngsters, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are sticking with a modest target of one gold medal.
Until the last Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2001, Malaysia have never won more than one gold medal since Indonesia joined the fraternity in 1977.
And it could get better in Ho Chi Minh City next month. Malaysia have a good chance to have finalists in four events, including the women’s doubles.
The Malaysian men’s team, who are the title holders, are already assured of a bronze medal. They have a first-round bye and will play against Indonesia for a place in the final.
Indonesia, who will play against Laos in their opening tie, are without Taufik Hidayat and the formidale pair of Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian. And Malaysia should start as favourites to reach the final against either Thailand or Singapore.
In the men’s singles, defending champion Roslin Hashim and national number one Wong Choong Hann have been drawn in different halves and should reach the semi-finals.
The fourth seeded Roslin is tipped to play against top seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia or Thai dangerman Boonsak Polsana in the semi-finals. Roslin has never lost to Boonsak and he has not played against Sony.
The in-form Choong Hann, who won the Taiwan Open and finished as the runner-up in the China Open in two back-to-back international tournaments recently, is likely to play against Singapore’s Ronald Susilo in the semi-final. He also has in his path Indonesian youngster Simon Santoso and Thai Anuphap Theeraratsakul.
Choong Hann has a 1-1 record against Ronald. In their last meeting in the Singapore Open semi-finals last year, Choong Hann lost to the Indonesia-born player in straight games.
The top men’s doubles pair of Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah have a good chance to break their four-year title drought.
Tan Fook-Wan Wah, who are the second seeds, have to beat Indonesian juniors Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan to reach the semi-finals where they could face Thailand’s second pair of Patapol Ngernsrisuk-Sudket Prapakamol.
On the other hand, the scratch pair of Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai will have a tough task if they reach the semi-finals. In their path are top seeds Pramote Teerawiwatana-Tesana Panvisvas of Thailand.
Doubles head coach Yap Kim Hock said that they would bank on Tan Fook-Wan Wah to win the gold medal.
“I hope they can reach the final. It will be fantastic if Choon Eng-Kim Wai can turn the tide against the Thais. My main job now is to get Choon Eng-Kim Wai up to the challenges,” said Kim Hock.
“They have a crucial role to play in the team competition because they have to deliver the winning point if the tie stands at 2-2 going into their match.”
Games debutants Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty also have a good chance to bag a medal if they can get past Singaporeans Li Li-Liu Fan.
If they beat their China-born rivals, Pei Tty-Eei Hui will face Indonesians Jo Novita-Lita Nurlita, whom they have beaten before, in the semi-finals.
Ang Li Peng-Lim Pek Siah were the silver medallists at the last Games and women’s doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit believes that Pei Tty-Eei Hui are capable of emulating their predecessors.
“Li Li, who is the Commonwealth Games champion, is concentrating on the singles title. Our pair can upset the Singaporeans,” he said.
National champion Wong Mew Choo will have to get past Li Li if she harbours hopes of getting at least a silver medal.
New Straits Times Online - Badminton: Chong Wei thrilled
Lee Keng Fatt
Nov 20: NATIONAL Grand Prix champion Lee Chong Wei is excited about his inclusion in the badminton squad for the Sea Games following the exclusion of All-England champion Hafiz Hashim due to a wrist injury.
But Chong Wei, 21, is also aware of his immediate task in the Luster-Malaysia Satellite Championships where he is the top seed. The qualifying rounds started yesterday in Sungai Petani.
Chong Wei has to be at his best to justify national coach Misbun Sidek's decision to opt for him and fellow Penang compatriot and Elite Challenge member Yeoh Kay Bin.
"The other national players from Malaysia and some other countries may not be competing here but that does not mean it will be easy for me," said Chong Wei.
"No doubt, it will serve as a good platform for me to warm up for the Sea Games, and I will not not take things easy in this championship.
"It's a challenge for me and, I believe, for my coach.
"Hence, I need to justify his faith in selecting me as a replacement for Hafiz." Chong Wei opens his quest against unheralded Mohd Ariff Latif in the first round tomorrow and is expected to cruise to the final where he is tipped to meet South Korea's No 4 Park Sung Hwan.
"I have played in other Satellite championships but not the Luster-Malaysia, which is why I am looking forward to playing in it," he said.
Chong Wei, runner-up in the Malaysia Open in Likas in September, will not play singles in Vietnam where Malaysia already have newly-crowned Taiwan Open champion Wong Choon Hann, defending champion Roslin Hashim and last year's Dutch Open champion Lee Tsuen Seng.
Chong Wei will instead be competing in the team event with doubles pairs Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai.
Looks like Choong Hann is going to take the gold on current form. Taukif's withdrawal is a blow to indo, but they still have Sony.
The star Online - BAM will not do an Indon
BY RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will not consider fielding the back-up squad for the SEA Games until the national second stringers can prove that they are good enough to mount a strong challenge in the biennial event.
For the Vietnam Games next month, Malaysia will be at full strength but their archrivals Indonesia have opted for fresh faces.
Except for two-time Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro, the others in the Indonesian team have yet to make an impact on the international stage.
The absence of their top singles player, Taufik Hidayat, and their formidable doubles pairs, Candra Wijaya-Halim Hariyanto and Sigit Budiarto-Trikus Hariyanto, have brightened Malaysia's chances of making a clean sweep of all the three men's titles – singles, doubles and team.
But the BAM president, Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, does not think that Malaysian will have it easy in Vietnam.
“Our back-up players are not of the same standard as the Indonesian second liners. The gap between our seniors and back-up squad players is wide. The SEA Games are important to us and are not meant to expose the back-up players,” he said.
“It is different with the Indonesians. Their back-up players are no pushovers and they can give their opponents a run for their money.”
Besides Sony, the others in the Indonesian team are Simon Santoso, Wimpie Mahardi and the doubles pairs of Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto and Markis Kido-Hendra Setaiwan.
“I have faith in our players. But sometimes, skills and talent are not sufficient. The players' form on the day counts too and we hope they will be able to give good performances,” said Nadzmi.
At the Kuala Lumpur Games in 2001, Roslin Hashim defeated Thailand's Boonsak Polsana in the final to end Malaysia’s 28-year wait for a men's singles gold medal in the Games. Malaysia also won the men’s team gold after a lapse of 10 years.
The Malaysian men's team this time comprise Taiwan Open champion Wong Choong Hann, Roslin, Lee Tsuen Seng, Lee Chong Wei and the doubles pairs of Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chew Choon Eng-Chang Kim Wai.
The women's players are Wong Mew Choo and the doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty. Malaysia are not taking part in the women's team event.