Saturday, March 25, 2006

Expecting Another 4 Golds from Badminton in Melbourne 2006

VETERAN Wong Choong Hann was the toast of the Malaysian badminton team yesterday, qualifying for two finals and ensuring that the gold and silver medals in both the men's competition will come home to Kuala Lumpur.

In the men's doubles, Choong Hann teamed up with Choong Tan Fook to see off second seed Anthony Clark-Robert Blair of England 21-12, 21-11 in the semi-finals. The pair will meet teammates and top seeds Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat in the final at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre tomorrow.

In the men's singles, Choong Hann was held by the throat by India's Chetan Anand in the second game but survived the scare to beat the Indian 21-11, 17-21, 21-13 in the semi-finals.
He will now take on teammate and hot favourite Lee Chong Wei in another all-Malaysian final tomorrow.

With top women singles Wong Mew Choo and top women's pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty also reaching the finals yesterday, Malaysia can dream of four gold medals from badminton on Sunday.

A jaded Choong Hann, who played a total of four gruelling matches yesterday, was thrilled with his double final appearance.

“Reaching the men's doubles final is more special for me. This was my target from the start,” said the KL '98 Games singles gold medallist.

“The pressure is now off the men's singles and doubles. We already have the gold medals in our hands. I will be the underdog in both the events. I will just it give my best,” said Choong Hann.
He has become the first Malaysian to win three medals in Games badminton competition. He won the mixed team gold last week.

Just last week, Mew Choo had beaten the Englishwoman in a thrilling match during the mixed team event and she can brace herself for a backlash. She will be out to become the first Malaysian in 28 years to win the singles gold after Sylvia Ng's at the 1978 Edmonton Games.

The women's doubles final will be between Pei Tty-Eei Hui and Singapore's Jiang Yanmei-Li Yujia.

In the mixed doubles, Kien Keat-Pei Tty failed to make history for Malaysia. They crashed out 21-15, 14-21, 15-21 to New Zealand's Gordon Shirley-Sara Runesten Petersen in the semi-finals yesterday. They will now play off for bronze against Singapore's Hendra Saputra-Li Yujia today.