Thursday, December 31, 2009
Where's the new Lee Chong Wei?
The ongoing National Junior Inter-State Badminton championship is the best place to uncover the new Lee Chong Wei. Is there any?
INTER STATE BADMINTON
PENANG POWER PAST PERAK TO SET FINAL DATE AGAINST SELANGOR
KUALA LUMPUR (30 Dec 2009):
Pulau Pinang powered past Perak 6-2 to set up a final date against defending champions Selangor who survived Melaka 6-5 in the semi-finals of the 100PLUS National Junior Inter-State Badminton Championships here at the Juara Stadium today.
Penang’s Chinese head coach Deng Lei could not be more than pleased with the performance of his chargers although he was a little taken aback by the results.
“It was a surprise really as I though that the score would be a lot closer than what it is today,” said Deng Lei.
“For tomorrow, I’m not putting any pressure on the players. They just have to play to expectation. It will be 50-50 (against the defending champions).”
The afternoon could not have started on a more positive note for Penang when both their boys’ and girls’ singles took the first point off Goh Siap Chin and Eng Suk Cheng in straight sets.
And while their second boys’ single player Teh Sheen Yale was stretched the full distance before succumbing to Perak’s Chan Ren Chong 17-21-21-19, 13-21, the islanders soon recovered their ground to take a 4-1 lead by winning the second girls’ singles and also the third boys singles.
Perak then attempted to get back into contention by taking the third girls’ singles through Lee Ying Ying but that was all they could muster as Penang then turned the tide to win the game through the boys’ and girls’ doubles for the final scoreline.
“There were some things which we could improve on obviously but at such a late stage, all that we could hope is that the players recover in time for the final tomorrow morning,” added Deng Lei.
In the meantime, Selangor had to survive a scare by Melaka before they were able to book their second final in two years with the slimmest of 6-5 scoreline.
Misbun Ramadan set the pace by winning the first boys’ singles in three sets and which was followed up by Yang Li Lian taking the girls’ singles.
But Melaka fought back to tie the score 2-2 by taking the second boys’ and girls’ singles through Tai An Khang and Lee Meng Yean.
R. Sathiestharan and A. K. Bhirentha then restored Selangor’s advantage to 4-2 by winning the third boys’ and girls’ singles.
The first boys’ and girls’ doubles were all square between the two sides before Melaka then surged ahead to take the next two games through their second pair.
With the score tied 5-5, it was all down to the mixed doubles pair of Muhd Syawal Ismail-Yap Harn Xin and they were fully tested to the rubber sets before they could win 17-21, 21-18 and 21-15.
“There were some concerns as Yap had just played earlier (winning the girls’ doubles with partner Yap Sin Fea). And we were under pressure due to the nature of the game which we must win,” added Syawal.
“We were a little rattled in the first set. But we found the rhythm to get going in the second set and from then on, there was no looking back.”
The final between Pulau Pinang and Selangor will be played tomorrow at 9am at the same venue.
Melaka bt Selangor 6-5; Pulau Pinang bt Perak 6-2