Badminton Life

World Badminton NewsToday - Axiata Cup (26th March 2012)

by Andrew

In the recent concluded Axiata Cup which in held in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta has displayed top level badminton and upcoming talent in this 1 million USD tournament.

There are around 6 countries participated in this tournament and it is divided into 2 groups and 2 different venue. In Jakarta (Group J) and in Kuala Lumpur (Group K).

In the Group J quarter finals match between Malaysia Leopard and Indonesia Garuda displayed great resistance from the second stringer from the Malaysian camp against the top Indonesian line up.

In the first singles, Misbun Ramdan Misbun vs Taufik Hidayat. The 21-year-old Misbun Ramdan Misbun, ranked 90th in the world, took advantage of a sluggish Taufik Hidayat to nick the first game 21-15 but the former Olympic and world champion’s quality was there for all to see as he stormed back to win the next two 21-5, 21-10.

Still, it was still a pleasant performance by Misbun and the shuttler, who is being groomed for the 2016 Olympics, was decidedly pleased with the opportunity to face Taufik.

“This is my first time facing Taufik and it is an invaluable experience for me,” said Misbun. “I gave it my best and I’m glad I took the first game.

“But being the experienced player that he is, Taufik read my style and came back to win the second and third games.”

In the men’s doubles tie, reigning world junior champions Nelson Heg-Teo EeYi took to the courts in the absence of Ow Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming, who returned home on Saturday night following Yao Han’s father’s death.

Despite a bright start, Nelson-Ee Yi were eventually outclassed 21-7, 21-15 by the scratch pair of Hendra Setiawan-Mohd Ahsan.

In the dead rubber, the injury-plagued Sony Dwi Kuncoro had to put a little of effort before beating Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin 21-19, 21-12.

The young Iskandar put up a fighting performance in the first set which kept the crowd and even some of the Indonesian players at the edge of their seat. Truly a talent to look out for in the future.

Despite the defeat the Malaysian Leopards still qualified for the semifinals playing against Indonesia's Rajawali who created an upset against Malaysia Tigers later in the late evening.

Malaysia Tigers vs Indonesia Raja Wali,the national No.1 men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong was the biggest letdown as the Malaysian Tigers crashed to a 2-1 defeat against the Indonesian Rajawali in Group K of the US$1mil Axiata Cup yesterday.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who had come under much criticism due to their poor recent form, lost to the fourth–ranked Indonesian pair Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra 21-10, 18-21, 13-21.

World No. 23 Dionysus Hayom Rumbaka had earlier given Rajawali the lead when he came from behind to beat veteran Mohd Hafiz Hashim 16-21, 21-18, 21-10 in the first singles.

“I wasn’t feeling well before the match and playing three days in a row is taking its toll on me,” said Hafiz.

“I tried to go for a win in straight games but Rumbaka countered and attacked more in the second game and I just ran out of gas. Overall, I feel that I played better here compared to the Thomas Cup qualifying in Macau last month but I still need to work on my physical strength.”

In the last match of the night, the much improved Liew Daren salvaged some pride by beating Sheshar Hiren Rhustavito 21-19, 21-13.

“It is disappointing because on paper we are supposed to be stronger than the Indonesian side,” said national singles coach Rashid Sidek.

“We were confident of taking a point through Daren and we just needed a victory from one of the other two matches.

“But it’s not the end of the world and we’re still confident of making the final.”

Stay tune this Friday 30th of March for the semifinal match. Malaysian Leopard vs Indonesia Raja Wali and Malysia Tigers vs Indonesia Garuda.

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