Badminton Life

Lee Chong Wei Aims for Seventh National Title

World number two and Malaysia's top player, Lee Chong Wei, won the National Grand Prix Finals for a record-equalling sixth time in Alor Star to enhance his reputation as one of the best players to come out of the country.

Chong Wei matched the achievements of former top singles player Misbun Sidek, who is now his coach. Chong Wei had little trouble defeating rising player Tan Chun Seang 21-17, 21-7 in the final.

Tan is part of the Project 2010-2012 programme to develop the next generation of Malaysian players but could not last longer than 25 minutes against the experienced Lee.

While Misbun won six titles non-consecutively, Chong Wei achieved the feat by winning six in a row. Since winning his first National GP title in 2003, Chong Wei has never bean beaten in a local tournament.

Chong Wei said he would try to better his mentor's record by going for his seventh straight title next year.

"It is a big honour to be able to match Misbun's feat. Although I had earlier contemplated quitting the local scene after this win, I want the record all for myself now. I will compete in local tournaments for at least another year," he said in the local press.

Chong Wei won RM7,000 for his victory, though it pales in comparison to the thousands of US dollars he wins in international events. Chun Seang won RM3,600.

In the men's doubles final, former All England champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong finally returned to winning ways by beating Ong Soon Hock and Tan Bin Shen 21-14, 14-21, 21-17 in the final.

They were beaten by Gan Teik Chai and Lin Woon Fui in the group stage before overcoming the world's third-ranked pair Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah in the semi-finals.

Julia Wong won her second title by beating Penang's Tee Jing Yi 21-13, 14-21, 21-10 for her first success since 2005.

In the women's doubles final, national pair Fong Chew Yen and Mooi Hing Yau defeated Lydia Cheah-Jing Yi 21-14, 16-21, 21-16.

The mixed doubles crown was won by Razif Latif and Chong Sook Ching, who surprised the favoured Lim Khim Wah and Ng Hui Lin 21-7, 21-19 in the final.

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