TheStar Jan 9th 06

BASEL: National shuttlers Lee Chong Wei and Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat gave Malaysia a perfect start to the year when they bagged the menís singles and doubles titles at the Swiss Open yesterday.

Chong Wei, the world number three, was in devastating form as he took only 35 minutes to blow away former world champion Xia Xuanze of China 15-8, 15-0 in the seasonís opening tournament of the World Grand Prix badminton circuit.

The match were expected to go down the wire, especially after Xuanzeís impressive 15-2, 15-12 win over Danish star Peter Gade-Christensen in the semi-finals a day earlier, but the Chinese shuttler ran out of steam against a crafty Chong Wei.

The two-time Malaysian Open champion Chong Wei had earlier bounced back from a game down to continue his winning streak against teammate Wong Choong Hann with a 12-15, 15-2, 15-3 win in another last four clash.

While it was a stroll in the park for Chong Wei to win his first title of the year, second-seeded Chong Ming-Kien Keat put up a great fight to stun top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen of Denmark 17-14, 8-15, 17-14 in a thrilling 85-minute final.

It was the duoís third international title after the 2004 Taiwan Open win and last yearís Danish crown.

The win yesterday will certainly be a huge boost for Chong Ming-Kien Keat as they prepare for the All-England, which will begin on Jan 17 in Birmingham.

ďIt was a great win because we had to come back from 9-14 in the rubber game. This will definitely boost our confidence ahead of the All-England,Ē said Chong Ming.

Malaysiaís gallant run in the womenís doubles, however, ended when world number seven seeds Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty lost 7-15, 11-15 to Du Jing-Yu Yang of China in the semi-finals.

Menís singles

Semi-finals: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Wong Choong Hann (Mas) 12-15, 15-2, 15-3; Xia Xuanze (Chn) bt Peter Gade-Christensen (Den) 15-2, 15-12.

Menís doubles

Semi-finals: Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat (Mas) bt Sang Yang-Zheng Bo (Chn) 15-1, 4-0 rtd; Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (Den) bt Jung Jae-sung-Lee Dong-dae (Kor) 15-12, 15-6

Final: Chong Ming-Kien Keat bt Boe-Morgensen 17-14, 8-15, 17-14.

Womenís singles

Semi-finals: Zhu Lin (Chn) bt Pi Hongyan (Fra) 11-3, 11-2; Xu Huaiwen (Ger) bt Mia Audina (Ned) 11-13, 11-4, 11-3.

Womenís doubles

Semi-finals: Zhang Dan-Zhao Tingting (Chn) bt Lee Hyo-jung-Lee Kyung-won (Kor) 17-16, 15-9; Du Jing-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty (Mas) 15-7, 15-11

Final: Du-Yu bt Zhang-Zhao 15-5, 10-15, 15-11.

Mixed doubles

Semi-finals: Robert Blair-Natalie Munt (Eng) bt Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg (Den) 15-11, 15-11; Nathan Robertson-Gail Emms (Eng) w.o. Zheng Bo-Zhao Tingting (Chn)