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Malaysians Look Ahead after All England Disappointment

Malaysia's hopes of All England glory evaporated as their main hopes went close but failed to land the top prizes in Birmingham.

There were some encouraging performances from men's world number two Lee Chong Wei and women's player Wong Mew Choo.

But the major disappointment was the failure of national number one paring Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat to successfully defend the men's doubles title they won last year.

The duo, who has been struggling for form lately, lost to Japan's Shuici Sakamoto and Shinatro Ikeda in the first round of the All England Championships.

With Malaysia setting sights on gold at the Beijing Olympics, national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky knows his leading pair must get their act together.

"It is the Olympic year and they know that they need to start picking up in their game. A good showing in Basel will certainly be good for their morale," Rexy was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper.

"I have tried so many ways to get them back on the winning trail just like how it was for them at the start of last year. They have the skills and techniques. The key to their success is all in their hands. It all depends on how badly they want to make it happen for them."

It was actually another Malaysia pair, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah who had the better run, reaching the semi-finals at the All England.

The Malaysian doubles teams will now be hoping to lift their confidence at the Swiss Open, where the Japanese and powerful Koreans are also playing.

Lee Chong Wei went all the way to the semi-finals of the men's singles in Birmingham before he was beaten in straight games, 21-18, 21-18 by eventual champion Chen Jin, of China.

Malaysia's four other men's singles players were all beaten in the first round.

Wong Mew Choo was the only Malaysian in the women's singles main draw and she performed admirably, reaching the quarter-finals.

Wong beat Indonesia's Maria Kristin Yulianti and then China's Jiang Yanjiao before losing in three games to South Korea's Hwang Hye-youn.

In the women's doubles, Malaysia's Wong Pei Tty and Chin Eei Hui beat Sweden's Elin Bergblom and Johanna Persson before losing to China's top-seeded Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen in three games.

The mixed doubles was over very quickly for Malaysia with Tan Wee Kiong and Woon Khe Wei, who had to go through qualifiers, losing in three games to the strong England pair of Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg.

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