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    Post Singles our best hope for a medal in World Badminton Championships


    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s best chance of winning a medal in the World Badminton Championships in Anaheim, California, undoubtedly rests on the men’s singles players if the draw released on Friday is anything to go by.

    National head coach Yap Kim Hock believes the singles players have a better chance of achieving glory in the championships, to be held from Aug 15-21, compared to the doubles players.

    The three Malaysian singles representatives – national number one Lee Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Wong Choong Hann – are seeded but enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the draw.

    Chong Wei and Choong Hann, seeded fifth and 10th respectively, have been drawn in the lower half with Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, China’s Bao Chunlai and Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen.

    Hafiz has a tougher draw. The eighth seeded Malaysian has top seed and world number one Lin Dan to contend with if he gets into the quarter-finals.

    “The strength of our three singles players is even this time. I believe all three of them have an equal chance of winning, depending on their performance on match days.

    “The most important thing is to prepare them well and hope they settle in well by the time competition starts,” said Kim Hock.

    And Kim Hock hopes an expected showdown between Choong Hann and Chunlai in the third round could turn out in Malaysia’s favour.

    If Choong Hann, who emerged runner-up in the previous world meet in Birmingham two years ago, gets the better of his Chinese rival, then Malaysia should be assured of one representative in the semi-final.

    “Chong Wei has a good chance to make it to the quarter-finals. Choong Hann can join him if he beat Chunlai in the third round.

    “We will then have a Malaysian line-up in the quarter-finals and already assured of a medal. I will discuss with Li Mao (men’s singles coach) on what strategy we need to use to help Choong Hann and Chong Wei get ready for the challenge.”

    Chong Wei, who begins his campaign against Jan Frohlich of the Czech Republic, should have no trouble checking into the quarter-finals.

    His expected opponent in the third round is Germany’s 16th seed Bjoern Joppien.

    Choong Hann, who opens against New Zealand’s Geoffrey Bellingham, is expected to meet Taiwanese Liao Sheng-shiun in the next round.

    Commenting on the men’s doubles, Kim Hock said it would be tough to expect the Malaysian pairs to enter the medal rounds.

    “We do not have any high target for the doubles this time because we are sending the young pairs. Looking at the draw, it will be quite tough for them to make the quarter-finals. This outing will be a building process for the future.”

    Except for seasoned campaigners Choong Tan Fook, Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming, the others will all be making their debut.

    Tan Fook-Choon Eng are surprisingly seeded eighth while Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat are seeded one rung lower.

    Tan Fook-Choon Eng, who get a first round bye, will have to clear a dangerous pair in China’s Sang Yang-Zheng Bo to reach the third round.

    A similar Chinese hurdle in Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun awaits Chong Ming-Kien Keat in the third round.


    Men’s singles
    1. Lin Dan (Chn), 2. Kenneth Jonassen (Den), 3. Peter Gade-Christensen (Den), 4. Bao Chunlai (Chn), 5. Lee Chong Wei (Mas) , 6. Taufik Hidayat (Ina), 7. Chen Hong (Chn), 8. Mohd Hafiz Hashim (Mas), 9. Ng Wei (Hkg), 10. Wong Choong Hann (Mas), 11. Boonsak Ponsana (Tha), 12. Niels Christian Kaldau (Den), 13. Lee Hyun-il (Kor), 14. Dicky Palyama (Ned), 15. Shon Seung-mo (Kor), 16. Bjoern Joppien (Ger).

    Men’s doubles
    1. Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen (Den), 2. Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto (Ina), 3. Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun (Chn), 4. Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (Ina), 5. Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den), 6. Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den), 7. Jung Jae-sung-Lee Jae-jin (Kor), 8. Chew Choon Eng-Choong Tan Fook (Mas), 9. Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat (Mas), 10. Flandy Limpele-Eng Hian (Ina), 11. Thomas Laybourn-Peter Steffensen (Den), 12. Mohd Fairuzizuan-Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui (Mas), 13. Tony Gunawan-Howard Bach (US), 14. Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock (Mas), 15. Liu Kwok Wa-Albertus Susanto Njoto (Hkg), 16. Michal Logosz-Robert Mateusiak (Pol).

    Women’s singles
    1. Zhang Ning (Chn), 2. Xie Xingfang (Chn), 3. Pi Hongyan (Fra), 4. Wang Chen (Hkg), 5. Yao Jie (Ned), 6. Xu Huaiwen (Ger), 7. Tracey Hallam (Eng), 8. Zhou Mi (Chn), 9. Eriko Hirose (Jpn), 10. Petya Nedeltcheva (Bul), 11. Kanako Yonekura (Jpn), 12. Kaori Mori (Jpn), 13. Mia Audina (Ned), 14. Salakjit Ponsana (Tha), 15. Xing Aiying (Sin), 16. Li Li (Sin).

    Women’s doubles
    1. Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn), 2. Gao Ling-Huang Sui (Chn), 3. Wei Yili-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 4. Zhang Dan-Zhang Yawen (Chn), 5. Lee Kyung-won-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 6. S. Saralee-C. Sathinee (Tha) , 7. Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (Mas), 8. Gail Emms-Donna Kellogg (Eng), 9. Ella Tripp-Joanne Wright (Eng), 10. Jiang Yanmei-Yujia Lee (Sin), 11. Tracey Hallam-Natalie Munt (Eng), 12. Chien Yu-chin-Cheng Wen-hsing (Tpe), 13. Helle Nielsen-Pernille Harder (Den), 14. Charmaine Reid-Helen Nichol (Can), 15. Ogura Kumiko-Rieko Shiota (Jpn), 16. Liza Parker-Suzanne Rayappan (Eng).

    Mixed doubles
    1. Nathan Robertson-Gail Emms (Eng), 2. Zhang Jun-Gao Ling (Chn), 3. Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 4. Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir (Ina), 5. Jens Eriksen-Mette Scholdager (Den), 6. Lee Jae-jin-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 7. Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee (Tha). 8. Robert Blair-Natalie Munt (Eng), 9. Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den), 10. Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty (Mas), 11. Xie Zhongbo-Zhang Yawen (Chn), 12. Hendry Kurniawan Saputra-Yujia Li (Sin), 13. Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg (Eng), 14. Frederik Bergstrom-Johanna Persson (Swe), 15. Daniel Shirley-Runesen Petersen (Nzl), 16. Philippe Bourret-Helen Nichol (Can).
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