All Malaysian Lost In Yonex All England Open Super Series 2008
Chong Wei and veteran pair bow out of All-England semis
By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia tasted double disappointment when Lee Chong Wei and veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah crashed out in the semi-finals of the All-England badminton championships in Birmingham yesterday.
With the defeats, Chong Wei and Tan Fook-Wan Wah again failed to achieve their personal breakthroughs in the men’s singles and doubles events in the prestigious tournament.
World No. 2 Chong Wei’s best achievement was a semi-final finish last year while Tan Fook-Wan Wah were runners-up in 2004 and 2006.
Yesterday, the second-seeded Chong Wei was left ruing yet again after falling short of his target of reaching his first-ever final following his 18-21, 18-21 loss to a fired-up Chen Jin of China in 43 minutes.
With Chong Wei’s defeat, China are assured of the men’s singles title as Chen Jin will face top seed and defending champion Lin Dan in the final.
Lin Dan blew away compatriot Bao Chunlai 21-14, 21-14 in the other semi-final.
It was not the kind of performance one would have expected from Chong Wei yesterday – especially after his spectacular win over Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia a day earlier in the quarter-finals.
The crafty Chong Wei had beaten Taufik 23-21, 21-17 in a match that went down to the wire.
But yesterday, Chong Wei lacked his usual aggression while world No. 4 Chen Jin found the right touches and shots to break the Malaysian’s rhythm.
It was only Chen Jin’s second win over Chong Wei in seven meetings.
The defeat of Tan Fook-Wan Wah, was more disappointing.
The duo, probably playing in their last All-England championships, let slip a golden opportunity to reach their third final after squandering a four-point lead and four match points en route to going down 13-21, 24-22, 21-23 to South Koreans Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae in a one-hour battle yesterday.
After the first game defeat, a charged up Tan Fook-Wan Wah bounced back to win the second to force a rubber game.
In the decider, Tan Fook-Wan Wah seemed to be in control, taking 18-14 and 20-16 leads.
They even won a lucky point at 20-20, courtesy of a bad line call, but the Malaysians simply couldn’t finish their rivals off.
National chief coach Yap Kim Hock said that Tan Fook-Wan Wah could still walk tall despite their defeat.
“They have been very consistent and played well today (yesterday). Unfortunately, they lacked the finishing touch. At their age, they were able to keep pace with the Koreans,” said Kim Hock in a telephone interview from Birmingham yesterday.
“If they can continue with their performances and work on some minor weaknesses, these veterans have a shot of challenging for medals at the Beijing Olympic Games and that is our priority.”
Kim Hock however, agreed that Chong Wei was sluggish in his movements against Chen Jin.
“This was not the Chong Wei we saw playing against Taufik a day ago.
“He made uncharacteristic mistakes and his movement was rather slow. I will get Misbun (Sidek) to prepare a report on him.”
A day ago, national singles shuttler Wong Mew Choo failed to make it to the women’s semi-finals after losing 21-17, 10-21, 13-21 to South Korean Hwang Hye-youn.
With the defeat, Mew Choo failed to become the first Malaysian woman to reach the All-England semi-finals.
Semua sudah kalah. Really disappointed thought at least one will go into the finals but none of them make it. So was not interested to watch the final… too disappointed. Hope they will continue to train and train to reach the final… Chong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah might be their last few games and they are retiring?