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ARKIB : 09/01/2004

Chong Wei virtually in the semis

SEREMBAN Jan 8 - Defending champion Lee Chong Wei edged closer to the men's singles semifinals of the National Grand Prix Badminton Finals 2003 when he scored his second straight win in Group A at the Negeri Sembilan Chinese Recreation Club (NSCRC), here Thursday night.

The Kuala Lumpur Open Champion, his first national title, easily trounced Salim Sameon 15-2, 15-2 Thursday night after having beaten Mohd Hazwan Jamalluddin in straight games in the morning.

The world number 18, who now leads the group, however will miss the Chinese New Year due to his commitment for the Thailand Open which will start a day before the Gong Xi Fa Chai.

"I was not under pressure in the two matches Thursday because I'm taking this tournament as my preparation for the Thailand Open which will start on Jan 21.

"As I'm now standing at 18, I really need to work hard to be in the best 16 men's singles, to qualify for the Athens Olympics in August," he told reporters, after the match Thursday night

Only the top players in each of the four groups qualify for the semifinals and Chong Wei, who will play against Ramesh Nathan Friday evening, is as good as through to the semifinals to be played on Saturday.

The only national senior shuttler who made the cut in this tournament, Lee Tsuen Seng also registered a win by defeating Tan Zhao Rong 15-6, 15-4.

"Winning both of my matches Thursday gave me a bit of strength to boost my confidence," said Tsuen Seng who had an unfortunate season last year.

In the other matches, Kuan Beng Hong beat Lok Chong Hong 15-4, 15-6 while Yeaoh Kay Bin defeated Law Yew Thien 15-5, 15-8.

In the men's doubles, Vietnam SEA Games silver medallist Chew Choon Eng/Chang Kim Wai had to go into the rubber set to beat their opponents 9-15, 15-6, 15-7.

The pair of Tan Bin Shen/Ong Soon Hock secured the first set before bowing out to their experienced opponents in the other two sets.

Sungai Petani Luster Open champion, Koo Kien Keat/Gan Teik Chai also registered an easy win against Mohd Faruzizuan Tazari/Jack Koh with 15-6, 15-13.

Kien Keat/Teik Chai and Choon Eng/Kim Wai pairs are expected to do battle in the finals on Sunday due to the withdrawal of the veteran pair of Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah before the tournament started.

However, the only upset in Thursdays match was when Woon Sze Mei lost to Julia Wong Pei Xian in the rubber set.

Sze Mei, the runner-up of the Kuala Lumpur open last December when she lost to Mew Choo, failed to match her opponent after winning the first set by 13-11.

Julia showed good fighting spirit to grab the other two sets 11-3, 11-8.

But Julia's victory seemed too much for her when she was rushed to the hospital immedietly after the game due to dehydration.

In another match, SEA Games gold medallist Wong Mew Choo as expected easily topped the Group G when she trounced Anita Kaur in straight sets 11-8, 11-4.

In the women's doubles, the country's number one pair of Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty easily trounced K.Sugita/Woon Sze Mei with 15-2, 15-6.

Kongsi Konten di :

Waktu Solat Kuala Lumpur
Subuh 5:52
Zuhur 1:17
Asar 4:27
Maghrib 7:22
Isyak 8:32


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