Mew Choo starts ball rolling as Malaysia bag a trio of titles in RM1.75 million JB tournament
JOHOR BAHARU: Badminton fans had more than one reason to bring the roof down with their loud cheers as Malaysian shuttlers swept three of the five titles at stake in the US$500,000 (RM1.75 million) Super Series Masters Finals at City Council Indoor Stadium here yesterday.
Malaysian shuttlers, who entered three finals to mark a memorable day for Malaysian badminton, made it a 100 per cent record win, to match their feat in last year’s final at Kota Kinabalu, by clinching the women’s singles, women’s doubles and men’s singles titles, although the absence of Chinese shuttlers did take away much of the glamour.
Celebrations started early for the thousands who filled the stadium to the brim when women’s national number one Wong Mew Choo set the ball rolling by providing the early cheers with a 21-15, 21-7 win over Germany’s Juliane Schenk.
“I am so happy and the winner’s cheque for US$40,000 is a gift from heaven really.
Don’t forget I was not supposed to be playing in the championship because I did not qualify, until the top players started pulling out.
“Anyway I am here and I told myself I got nothing to lose. So I went out there and enjoyed myself and I played some of the best badminton of my career, including the final,” said Mew Choo.
Her German opponent, who paid tribute to Mew Choo, said she was not able to raise her game because of fatigue.
“I felt a little tight in my chest just midway into the second game and felt a little uncomfortable in breathing. But that’s not an excuse. I got over the discomfort but not my game or Mew Choo,” said Schenk.
Then came Chin Ee Hui- Wong Pei Tty to keep the fans enthralled with a superb performance against Danish pair to fire up the gallery with a 21-17, 21-14 straight sets victory over Kamilla Juhl-Lena Kristiansen.
By the time world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei arrived on court, the fans were already dancing in delight, as his opponent Park Sung Hwan of South Korea was not expected to pose any danger to his title defence.
And true enough, Chong Wei used his vast experience and deceptive net play to nail his opponent 21-17, 21-17 in straight sets.
The wins by Mew Choo, the women’s doubles pair and Chong Wei, more or less made up for Koo Kien Keat- Tan Boon Heong’s failure to retain their men’s doubles title.
“I hope my win today will help me psychologically for the SEA Games next week. It was tough but deep inside I knew I was capable of beating him (Park),” added Chong Wei.
Meanwhile, South Korean men’s doubles pair Lee Yong Dae-Jung Jae Sung reigned supreme with a 21-15, 21-15 win over Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen for their second consecutive title since winning the China Open late last month.
The mixed doubles title went to top seeded Danish pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen who beat India’s V. Diju-Gutta Jwala 21-14, 21- 18. — Bernama