Badminton Life

Malaysian Stars Focus on The Task Ahead

There has been a lot of controversy and main talking points in Malaysian badminton recently and it has not been the easiest time for many of the key participants of late.

This is probably to be expected as the pressure and excitement of the forthcoming Olympic Games starts to build and players worry about whether they will be selected or not. Injuries have certainly rocked many people's plans for building towards the Games and this has been reflected in the cautious approach the selectors have taken towards naming the final squad.

Clearly there is a lot at stake for the national associations as well and they do not wish to be seen to be picking the wrong personnel for such a major tournament. The Olympic Games may be one of the most exciting events in the world but it also brings a lot of trouble with it.

Some good news for the Malaysian badminton association and followers has been in the form of scratch duo, Ong Soon Hock and Hoon Thien How in the Indonesian Open which has been taking place in Jakarta of late. The duo managed an exciting victory over the Denmark duo of Mathias Boe and Cartsen Morgensen to book their place in the Semi-final of the event. It wasn't an easy match and it took three sets and over an hour to split the two teams but the Malaysian duo was victorious in the end.

Taking the first set by a score of 27-25 indicates the tightness of the match up but it did provide a foothold in the game for the Malaysian team. Unfortunately for them, the second set went to the Danish by a margin of 22-20.

With two sets being decided by a very tight margin, hopes were high for a thrilling climax to the game and it was hard to predict which team would prevail. In yet another 22-20 set, Soon Hock and Thien How held their nerve and booked their place in the semi-finals. It may have been harsh on Boe and Morgensen to taste defeat in such an enjoyable game but there can only be one winner in knock-out tournaments.

This victory followed on from an equally solid triumph over the Japanese pairing of Shintaro Ikeda and Shuichi Sakamoto who were seeded fourth going into the tournament. The semi match up pairs the Malaysian team up against Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya.

Given that they had just knocked out top seeds and world champions Markis Kido and Hendra Seiawan of Indonesia, it is certainly going to be another tough match for them to face. However, if you want to make it to the top of your sport, tough matches are going to come thick and fast.

Gunawan and Wijaya disposed of the top team by a 21-18, 18-21, 21-10 margin which shows how tricky a tie it is going to be against them. However given the recent development of Soon Hock and Thien How there is every chance that they will take the game to their opponents and who knows what the outcome will be.

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