Badminton Life

Easy Draw For Malaysian Men, Uphill Task For Women

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's top shuttler, Datuk Lee Chong Wei who had a favourable draw in the men's singles draw is expected to cruise into the semifinals of the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games badminton competition scheduled from Nov 12-27.

In the draw held in Guangzhou, the men's singles world number one and top seed, received a first round bye and is expected to face Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong in the second round.

Chong Wei is expected to battle against Thailand ace Boonsak Ponsana, seeded sixth, in the quarter-finals and barring any upsets, would face either third seeded Chen Jin of China or Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, seeded seventh.

In the bottom-half of the draw, world champion Lin Dan of China also received an easy path to the semifinals and expected to face little resistance, either from fourth seeded Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia or Kenichi Tago of Japan, seeded eighth.

If both Chong Wei and Lin Dan manage to overcome their respective opponents, both are tipped to battle it out for the gold medal, which would also be a repeat of the Japan Open final last month which the Malaysian won 22-20, 16-21, 21-17.

In the men's doubles, Asian Games defending champions, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong who also had an easy draw are expected to easily sail through to the quarterfinals and square off against fifth seeds, Guo Zhendong/Chan Xu of China in the semis.

In the top half of the draw, the only seeded pairs are Fang-Chieh-Min/Lee Sheng Mu of Taiwan, seeded fourth, and South Korean scratch pair Ko Sunghyun/Yoo Yeon Seong, seeded sixth.

In the bottom-half, world number two, Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia are expected to battle against world champions Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng from China in the semifinals and the winner probably facing the Malaysian pair in the final.

In women's singles draw, Malaysia's top women's shuttler, Wong Mew Choo, seeded eight, may face an early exit as fourth seed, Eriko Hirose from Japan could await her in the quarterfinal.

If she succeed to beat the Japanese, top seed and world number one Wang Xin from China would be her semifinal opponent.

Another Malaysian, Lydia Cheah who is unseeded, may pack her bags early as she would be facing Commonwealth Games champion and second seed Saina Nehwal of India in the second round.

Two Malaysian pairs in the women's doubles, Marylen Poauleng/Woon Khe Wei and Vivian Hoo/Lim Yin Loo have also been drawn against tough opponents.

In the 2006 edition of the Asian Games in Doha, the badminton squad contributed a gold and three silver medals.

Koo/Tan won the men's doubles gold while the silvers came from men's Singles (Chong Wei), men's team (Koo/Tan, Chong Wei, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong, Lin Woon Fui/Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari, Wong Choon Hann) and mixed Doubles (Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari/Wong Pei Tty).

Source from BERNAMA

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