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    Post Hafiz bags singles title, Tan Fook-Wan Wah take doubles crown

    TheStar 22nd Oct 05
    MAASPOORT (Holland): Malaysian shuttlers Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah are back winning international titles again.

    Hafiz bagged his third grand prix title of the year when he defeated Japanís Shoji Sato 15-4, 15-12 in the menís singles final of the Dutch Open badminton championships yesterday.

    Hafiz had won the Thailand and Swiss Opens in March this year. He then suffered a dip in his form, failing to make it past the third round in the next four tournaments, including the World Championships in Anaheim, in August.

    He also withdrew from the Indonesian Open last month due to a recurring knee injury.

    VICTORIOUS VETERANS: Choong Tan Fook (left) and Lee Wan Wah captured the Dutch Open menís doubles title when they defeated Japanís Tadashi Ohtsuka-Keita Masuda 15-7, 15-4 in the final in Maaspoort, Holland.
    Earlier, veteran Malaysian menís doubles pair of Tan Fook-Wan Wah showed that they still have what it takes to challenge at the top level when they scored a convincing win over Japanís Tadashi Ohtsuka-Keita Masuda.

    The Malaysians chalked up a 15-7, 15-4 win over the third seeded Japanese in just 40 minutes to bag their first international Grand Prix title in more than a year after their triumph in the Malaysian Open.

    The duo are back playing as a pair after injury had put Wan Wah out for seven months since September last year.

    In the womenís doubles competition, Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty failed in their bid to clinch their first international title. The world number seven by the home pair of Lotte Bruil-Mia Audina.

    Eei Hui-Pei Tty were left ruing the missed chance to break the duck in the absence of Chinese and Korean pairs from the field.

    Eei Hui-Pei Tty will compete as the second seeds in the Danish Open, beginning tomorrow, but their chances of winning the title are certainly slim.

    Chinaís Zhang Dan-Zhang Yawen are the favourites to win the five-star tournament.

    They were unseeded here but eliminated 2001 world champions Tony Gunawan-Halim Haryanto in rubber games in the semi-finals on Saturday.

    The Malaysian pair, playing in only their fifth tournament this year, beat the Indonesians, who now represent the United States, 15-11, 10-15, 15-13 in 78 minutes.

    Gunawan came into the championships as a world champion again Ė in a partnership with Vietnam-born Howard Bach in the tournament in Anaheim in August.

    National head coach Yap Kim Hock is pleased with the continued progress Tan Fook and Wan Wah have made since resuming their partnership four months ago.

    ďWan Wah came back for light training only in April and this win is certainly good for their morale. They have been improving with each tournament since the Singapore Open. Beating Tony and Halim is certainly satisfying for them,Ē said Kim Hock.

    In the China Masters last month, Tan Fook-Wan Wah beat Chinaís top ranked pair Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun en route to reaching the final.

    Their previous tournament was the Indonesian Open and they beat three top ranked pairs Ė Indonesians Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian and Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto and teammates Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat Ė to reach the semi-finals.

    For Tan Fook-Wan Wah, their performance here has certainly raised hope that they can still be counted on to play key roles for Malaysia in the Manila SEA Games (Nov 27-Dec 5).
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