Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chong Wei overcomes Taufik and linesmen to retain title

PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei overcame two enemies – the linesmen and a charged up old-timer Taufik Hidayat in the first game – to emerge as the Indonesian Open badminton champion for a third time.
He survived a strong onslaught from Taufik in the opening game before bulldozing the spent force Indonesian 21-19, 21-8 in a 37-minute final at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta.
Chong Wei had to step up a gear half way through the first game when Taufik staged a strong comeback from 10-15. The Indonesian managed to level at 19-19 but a faster and more determined Chong Wei lived up to his top billing to pull through.
Chong Wei also had to deal with appalling line call and he was robbed of points twice. He kept his composure and went on to claim the title to make a quick redemption after losing to Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the quarter-finals of the Singapore Open last week.
En route to the title, Chong Wei defeated past, present and future stars of the Indonesian team in a single tournament.
Chong Wei prevented Taufik from winning a record seventh home title and to avenge a defeat he suffered last year in the final. He also outclassed Sony in the semi-final and knocked out youngster Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka in the first round.
The All-England champion was happy to make a tournament-winning comeback, especially after his demoralizing defeat by China’s Lin Dan in a Thomas Cup semi-final tie in Bukit Jalil last month.
“That defeat took a lot out of me. It was not easy to come back to top again after a defeat like that. On top of that, I was nursing a foot injury,” said Chong Wei in a telephone interview from Jakarta.
“I was not in the best form when I competed in the Singapore Open. I was struggling in every match and eventually lost to Sony.
“But here, I found my touches and confidence again. I am happy to regain the confidence of my fans too.”
“I knew that it would not be easy against Taufik on his home ground. I wanted to retain the title so badly and I am pleased that I have accomplished my job.”
Chong Wei’s next assignment is the Malaysian Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru from July 6-11 but he is unsure of his participation.
“I am in a catch 22 situation. I want to take part because it is a home tournament and I want to give my home fans a treat. But at the same time, I am also taking a risk by competing in too many tournaments,” he said.
”I have three more major tournaments – world championships (Paris, August), Commonwealth Games (New Delhi, October) and Asian Games (Guangzhou, November). They are my priorities. I will discuss it with my coach (Misbun Sidek).”
In the women’s singles, India’s Saina Nehwal continued to make waves on the international circuit. She beat Japan’s Sayaka Sato 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 to win a third consecutive Open title in three week after the successes in her home tournament and in Singapore.

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