The Star Online > Sports Thursday, May 29, 2003 S. Korea to send their best for Test matches By RAJES PAUL KUALA LUMPUR: The cream of South Korean badminton will be here for friendly matches against the national players from June 27-July 5. And doubles player Chan Chong Ming sees it as a good deal for himself and his teammates ahead of the World Championships, which have been rescheduled for July 28-Aug 3 in Birmingham. With partner Chew Choon Eng, the top ranked Malaysian pair will get quality sparring against world number one Kim Dong-moon-Ha tae-kwon. In accepting the BA of Malaysia’s (BAM) proposal for Test matches, South Korean chief coach Kim Jung-soo has decided to send their best players to KL. Besides Dong-moon-Tae-kwon, the other doubles players in the team are Lee Dong-soo, Yim Bang-eun and Kim Yong-hyun. The men’s singles players are Lee Hyun-il, Park Tae-sang, Shon Seung-mo and Park Sung-hwan. In the women’s team are Kim Kyeung-ran, Jun Jae-youn and the doubles combinations of Ra Kyung-min-Lee Kyung-won and Lee Hyo-jung-Yim Kyung-jin. Chong Ming-Choon Eng have not played in any international tournaments since the All-England in February. “We have not beaten the Koreans (Dong-moon-Tae-kwon) since our first-round win over them in the first round of the Malaysian Open in 2000,” said the 22-year-old Chong Ming. “Dong-moon-Tae-kwon are currently the best pair in the world. They have won so many titles, more than Indonesians Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto and they are definitely the favourites to win the world title. “It has been a long time since we last played against a world-class pair. This is a great opportunity and it will certainly benefit us ahead of the World Championships.” At the All-England, Choon Eng suffered an ankle injury and they had to withdraw in the second round. And when Choon Eng recovered, Chong Ming came down with a tennis elbow and they were forced out of the Japan and Korean Opens. Their absence from the international circuit saw their ranking nose-dived from fifth to 21st. “The best of the Korean men’s singles and their women players will be here. From the Test matches, we hope that the entire national team will be motivated and be in high spirit for the world tournament,” said Chong Ming. The only top Korean player not in the team is Dong-soo’s partner Yoo Yong-sung, who is due for a knee surgery. But coach Jung-soo chose not to comment on Yong-sung’s participation in the World Championships. “Like Malaysia, we were also looking for alternative plans to keep our players on their toes. The Test matches will be a good warm-up for both teams prior to the World Championships,” he said. The World Championships, which were scheduled for May 12-18, were postponed because of concerns over SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Also postponed were the tournaments on the South-East Asian leg of the world circuit – in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. With the Koreans having confirmed their participation in Test matches, the BAM are likely to drop doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock’s proposal for friendly matches against England and Denmark. There is also no need for the BAM to stage the Kuala Lumpur Open.