2004 Grand Prix

Discussion in '2004 Tournaments' started by cooler, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    Saturday December 25, 2004
    Chong Wei beats Hafiz easily to make it a hat-trick of titles

    BY LIM TEIK HUAT
    IPOH: Just 35 minutes. That's all it took for the country's number one singles player Lee Chong Wei to demolish Mohd Hafiz Hashim and earn a hat-trick of titles in the National Badminton Grand Prix Finals at the Indera Mulia Stadium here yesterday.

    Kuala Lumpur’s Anita Raj Kaur also made it a memorable Finals when she became the first non-Chinese national champion, beating young Lydia Cheah in the women’s singles final.

    Penangite Chong Wei played a superb attacking game to win 15-7, 15-3 in the final of the men’s singles event and claimed his third straight national title after victories in 2003 and 2002.


    VICTORY CELEBRATION: Lee Chong Wei does a jig after hiw won over Hafiz Hashim gave him his third consecutive Grand Prix title. His achivement equals that of coach Misbun Sidek.- Starpic by Saiful Bahari.
    And Chong Wei did a jig to celebrate his achievement. He certainly had reason to be happy.

    He had not only maintained his three-year unbeaten run at home but has now emulated his coach Misbun Sidek's feat of winning the title three times in a row.

    Misbun won the title for three straight years from 1981 to 1983. He was also national champion in 1986 and 1987.

    Yesterday, Chong Wei was sharp in attack and strong in defence and Hafiz never had any chance. The 22-year-old picked up four points from just the opening service.

    With Chong Wei dictating the pace, he extended his lead to 10-5 and gave away just two points before romping home at 15-7.

    Chong Wei never got on the wrong footing in the second game. He was ahead at 4-1, then 10-1 and eventually cruised home to victory at 15-3.

    Chong Wei, who also beat Hafiz in the Malacca and Selangor Opens this year, said the final yesterday was the easiest win over his rival and yet the most meaningful.

    “I have kept my unbeaten streak going. I was the national number one and I had reason not to lose here.

    “I wanted to defend my title badly because this was where I started making a name for myself (in 2002),†said Chong Wei, who took home a winner's cheque of RM7,000.

    Chong Wei, who qualified for his first Olympics in Athens this year, said Hafiz also did not play well and it made his task easier.

    Hafiz admitted that he just could not make any headway yesterday.

    “My movement was slow. I also made a lot of mistakes. I tried to play lob but the shuttle just went out. Maybe, I am a little bit tired because I competed in many tournaments before this,†said Hafiz.

    The mixed doubles pair of Gan Teik Chai-Fong Chew Yen earned the national title with a hard fought victory over favourites Koo Kien Keat-Chin Eei.

    Teik Chai-Chew Yen ended Kien Keat-Eei Hui's unbeaten streak in the local circuit with a 12-15, 17-14, 15-7 win.

    Kien Keat-Eei Hui, the Taiwan Open champions, had been unbeaten at home since they paired up four months ago.

    Teik Chai-Chew Yen took home RM3,200 in prize money.

    But Kien Keat had a consolation in the men's doubles. He teamed up with Chan Chong Ming to beat Lin Woon Fui-Mohd Fairuzizuan 15-8, 15-13.
     
    #1 cooler, Dec 24, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2004
  2. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    semi final

    Underdogs shine in National Badminton Grand Prix

    Dec 24, 2004

    BY LIM TEIK HUAT
    IPOH: Former All-England champion Mohd Hafiz Hashim qualified for his first men's singles final of the National Badminton Grand Prix Finals when he outwitted Wong Choong Hann in a thrilling battle at the Indera Mulia Stadium last night.

    And it was a night of the underdogs as Lydia Cheah and Anita Raj Kaur surprisingly qualified for the women's singles final as well, leaving favourites Woon Sze Mei and Julia Wong by the wayside (see page 59).

    Hafiz, who is enjoying a surge in confidence following some decent performances at the international arena, defeated Choong Hann 15-14, 15-9 and will face two-time champion Lee Chong Wei in the final today.

    Chong Wei overcame a gritty challenge from Kuan Beng Hong in the other semi-final to win 15-10, 6-15, 15-1.

    But it was Hafiz's duel with Choong Hann that kept the spectators glued to their seats.

    Choong Hann was in control from the start of the first game and was leading 7-3 at one point. But he started making unforced errors and allowed Hafiz to creep back in to force duece.

    Choong Hann decided to go for broke but lost the gamble, with Hafiz taking the first game 15-14.

    It was a cat-and-mouse game next between Hafiz and Choong Hann. Both were fighting point for point until 9-9 but Choong Hann then slipped while chasing a return from Hafiz.

    The Kelantan-born player took advantage and went on the attack to seal victory with an overhead smash, which his rival returned to the net.

    Hafiz said he decided to change tactics and play a speedier game.

    “Choong Hann also fell and I think his rhythm was broken after that. It was very close at that time,†said Hafiz.

    The 21-year-old Hafiz said he was happy to make his first appearance in the final.

    Against Chong Wei, Hafiz said he had a 50-50 chance. Hafiz has lost twice to Chong Wei – in the finals of the Malacca and Selangor Opens this year.

    Said Choong Hann on his defeat: “I was in control for most of the first game. I thought I could take him on but I made some silly mistakes towards the end,†said Choong Hann, the runner-up in the World Championships in Birmingham last year.

    Despite having to bow out in the semi-finals, the 27-year-old was not disappointed.

    “I played the game I wanted to. Now, I have to polish up my game further and make it more solid. I have a lot of catching up to do,†he said.

    Chong Wei, too, has a lot to do if he wants to secure a third national title today.

    “I did not play that well today. I was a bit slow. Maybe, I am feeling the effects of playing competitions non-stop. But I think I still have enough energy to play one more match,†he said.
     
  3. *GaDe~CaMiLlA*

    *GaDe~CaMiLlA* Regular Member

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    anyone know what is World Grand Prix Finals??? :confused:
     

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