Monday, January 7, 2013

Terbuka Korea baru bermula....

Jadual Pertandingan antarabangsa Bulan Januari

National Event Calendar 2013

Korea Open: Chong Wei remains Malaysia's best bet

By K.M. Boopathy

WHO can Malaysia turn to when the Korea Open, the curtain raiser to the 2013 badminton season, begins today?
Who else but the same old Lee Chong Wei. Nobody else to pick up the cudgel.
But with Chong Wei, the defending champion, not at the height of his powers, it will take additional effort from the World No 1 to nail his third title in Korea.
Success last year was extra sweet for Chong Wei as he had beaten the great Lin Dan of China in the final. This time Super Dan is not around as he is still on holiday after his Olympic triumph in London.
But in Seoul, China will have young pretenders out to steal the thunder from Chong Wei. However, the Malaysian's experience should come in handy.
Wang Zhengming of China, who faces Chong Wei in the first round, has never beaten Chong Wei.
The World No 1 is likely to face Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia or Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the second round. In the quarter-final, Chong Wei is scripted to meet Hu Yun of Hong Kong.
A semi-final meeting against Chen Jin is in store for Chong Wei. The Malaysian should face little trouble as the third seeded Chinese is on the decline.
In the final, Chong Wei should meet second seed Chen Long of China who has beaten the former in the Hong Kong Open final in November.
However, national coach Tey Seu Bock said Chong Wei is better prepared to face Chen Long this time.
Men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are no longer a pair that can intimidate rivals, as time and again, they can lose to lower ranked pairs and new combinations.
They are also increasingly vulnerable playing South Korean combinations.
They have an easy ride to the semis as they will meet a qualifying pair and most likely face compatriots Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock in the second round.
The quarter-final is expected to be tougher as they will play either China's Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan or Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata of Japan before setting up a semi-final clash against South Korea's Ko Sung Hyun-Lee Yong Dae.
Coach Tan Kim Her will also be hoping for second pair Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How to make a big impact in the super series but they have a tough task playing Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan in the first round.
Should Wee Kiong-Thien How get an upset win, they are expected to meet compatriots Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah in the second round and could face Sung Hyun-Yong Dae in the last eight.
Courtesy of New Straits Times
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Ramdan has got what it takes

NATIONAL singles coach Hendrawan regards Misbun Ramdan Misbun as the most complete player among his back-up squad members but said the youngster needs time to mature before he can establish himself as a world class player.
Ramdan, 22, was crowned national champion last week but it's clear that he is not a special player in the mould of two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei but Hendrawan believes the player needs one or two years to become an established international shuttler.
Although Hendrawan is reluctant to speed up the process of turning Ramdan into a world beater within the next six months, the former world champion said his protege must discard the habit of being inconsistent and regularly feature in the super series.
However, Ramdan's current world ranking of No 87 will not garner him a place in the super series and Hendrawan said the target for the shuttler is to break into the top 30 so that he can get the opportunity to play against the best.
Ramdan received the rare chance of playing in the Malaysia Open, a super series event, on Jan 15-20 because of the poor turnout of top 20 shuttlers but faced an uphill battle against China's rising back-up player Chen Yuekun in the first round of the qualifiers.
"Ramdan is the most complete player in the back-up squad. His skills, discipline and physique are better than others but it will take some time before he can become a world class performer," said Hendrawan.
"Some players take longer to mature and in Ramdan's case he needs between one to two years. I hope that the public's expectations of him won't be too high as he still needs to be more consistent as a player and put on quality performances in the tournaments.
"While Ramdan has done well on the local circuit, his performance in international events over the last three months has stagnated but this happens to every growing player.
"However, he has become a more responsible player and I expect him to grow from strength to strength.
"His first target is to break into the top 30 this year so that he can play in the super series on a more regular basis as this will give him the chance to play against the top 10 and earn him quality experience.
"The next objective is for him to win a grand prix title and I hope that it will happen this year as it will boost his confidence.
"Except for Chong Wei, most of the national singles players mature late and this includes Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng but we are trying our best to help Ramdan earn his stripes faster."
Arif Latif, 24, and Goh Soon Huat, 23, are the other two players who have been steadily improving under Hendrawan but Ramdan seems to have inherited the natural talent from his father Misbun Sidek and should be making his presence felt if he plays to his true potential.
Hendrawan has also set Arif, ranked No 33, the target of reaching the top 30 while Soon Huat, ranked 80th, a top 50 position this year but Ramdan is likely to be in the limelight after his victory in the National Grand Prix Finals last week.
It has been 13 months since Ramdan reached the quarter-finals of a grand prix event and he needs to focus on improving his results even before he can be compared to the his father or his more successful uncle and national singles chief coach Rashid Sidek.
Courtesy of New Straits Times
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