Badminton Life

Taufik Looking for More Glory

Indonesia's former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat will be hoping to continue his revival when he takes on some of the best players in the world a the Denmark Open next week.

Taufik had a dismal year overall, losing his Olympic title tamely as he was knocked out in the early rounds.

However, victory at the Macau Open last week, where he beat world number one Lee Chong Wei, of Malaysia, in the final, has boosted his confidence ahead of the Danish event.

Still, he has a tough opening match in Odense, where he faces another Malaysian, Wong Choong Hann, in his opening round.

It was Wong who ended Taufik's Olympic reign at the Beijing Games. Should the Indonesian overcome Wong and avenge his Olympic defeat, he is likely to face Denmark's Joachin Persson in the next round.

Persson won the Bulgarian Open over the weekend and will be ready to perform in front of his home crowd.

The Dane, like Wong, also holds bad memories for Taufik, who lost to him at the recent Japan Open.

Top seed Lee, meanwhile, is still searching for his first title as world number one. Since regaining the top ranking from Olympic winner Lin Dan two months ago, Lee has lost in the finals of the Japan and Macau Opens.

The Malaysian is going into the tournament with a mental coach but he won't expect any favours from his first-round opponent, compatriot Sairul Ayob.

After Sairul, he is likely to face another Malaysian, Hafiz Hashim before a possible quarter-final clash against wily Indonesian Simon Santoso.

China's challenge will be led by Olympic bronze medallist and All England champion Chen Jin.

In the absence of Lin, who is still recovering form his post-Olympic celebrations, second-seeded Chen will be China's main hope, although third seed Bao Chunlai could also make a major impact on the tournament.

Chen's first opponent is local player Jan Jorgensen with a clash against former world number one Pete Gade on the cards in the second round.

Bao's has a first-round match against Singapore's Kendrick Lee with Taufik like to be up next.

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