Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng hold their heads high despite final stumble – Badminton India Open
PETALING JAYA: Seasoned campaigners Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng’s failed in their bid to end their six-year title drought when they lost in the men’s doubles final at the US$120,000 India Open in Hyderabad yesterday.
The former world number one went down 21-19, 14-21, 12-21 to China’s second ranked pair of Guo Zhengdong-Xie Zhongbo in a showdown that saw a great comeback from the Chinese players.
After a great start in the first game, the unseeded Chong Ming and Choon Eng eventually lost steam against the solid attacking play of the towering Chinese.
The world No.9 Zhengdong-Zhongbo, desperately seeking to be seeded in the Beijing Olympic Games, stepped up their tempo in the second game and grew from strength to strength to wrap up the title.
Chong Ming-Choon Eng last won a title together at the 2002 Japan Open.
Despite the loss, the Malaysians, currently in the national team as sparring partners and sponsored by Victor for their international tournaments, can still walk tall for their giant killing feats from the first round onwards.
Chong Ming-Choon Eng, who are ranked 92 in the world, collected the scalps of world No. 6 pair, the Indonesian-American combination of Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan and the world No. 10 pairing of the Lee Jae-jin-Hwang Ji-man of South Korea.
The India Open is only their third tournament together since making a comeback this year as a pair after their previous partnerships were split in 2004.
Chong Ming agreed that their physical condition were a letdown.
“They were in better physical condition than us. We could not follow their pace and we felt that the shuttle was slow. We lost concentration and were a spent force,” said Chong Ming.
“But overall, it was a good run for us. And now, we look forward to future tournaments with a little more confidence. We can at least still give the top pairs a fight,” he added.
He is now keeping his fingers crossed that he would be called up to the play in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) from April 15-20 in Johor Baru. Both Chong Ming-Choon Eng are on the reserve list.