NSTP - Badminton/China Open: Cruel Game! S.S. Dhaliwal CHINA have taken international badminton to a new low following their antics at the China Open held at the Tainhe Gymnasium in Guangzhou. Not only did they display poor sportsmanship off the court, but also resorted to questionable methods to ensure the much coveted men singles title is won by one of their own. And against such odds it was little wonder that Wong Choong Hann lost the final to Lin Dan with a 17-16, 15-12 scoreline. But the Chinese players and officials should try to pick up a thing or two from Choong Hann who refused to blame anyone for his defeat. “I lost to a better player today. Despite the defeat, I am happy with my performance in the final,” said Choong Hann. “I am disappointed but I did not lose for lack of effort but just that I could not match Lin Dan today. “This is the second time I have lost to him but I dare say it will be a different story the next time. “He had an advantage with the one day rest as he received a walkover in the semifinal. “Whether that was planned or not is for others to judge but it gave him a distinct advantage and he used it. “That is sport and we just have to accept defeat, though for me it was a bitter pill to swallow. “I am proud of my game here and hope to build on it and do well at the SEA Games.” Choong Hann, who won the Taiwan Open last week, however, has a chance for revenge as he lines up against the Chinese armada in a friendly between Malaysia and China today. Choong Hann must be credited for his display in the tournament as he showed why he is still the nation’s top singles player. But even the best sometimes fall victim to questionable decisions and it was no different for Choong Hann in the final. Choong Hann was incensed at being faulted twice in the second set when the score was 13-11 in favour of Lin Dan. “That affected my concentration and there was just no coming back after that,” said Choong Hann. “But that one incident did not cause my defeat and I will just learn to remain more focused next time.” The despicable methods employed by the Chinese were apparent even before the final got under way. While Choong Hann had to labour in the semi-finals against Denmark’s Peter Gade Christensen, Lin Dan was given a walkover by his compatriot Zhu Weilun. It seemed Zhu Weilun had mysteriously picked up a shoulder injury after his quarterfinal exploits. Choong Hann trailed Lin Dan 7-8 at one stage but manage to draw level at 10-10. He then took three points for a 13-10 lead but Lin Dan started smashing more and caught up to level at 13 all. Despite edging forward at set point, Lin Dan failed to get the winning point and this allowed Choong Hann to tie at 14 all. The two players were neck to neck and once again Choong Hann foiled Lin Dan’s attempt to gain the winning point by drawing level at 16-16. But Choong Hann failed to get the winner and that handed the advantage to Lin Dan who needed no second chance to win the first set 17-16. In the second set Choong Hann led 7-2 at one stage but failed to take advantage allowing Lin Dan to draw level and forge ahead 11-8. Choong Hann narrowed the deficit to 10-11 but Lin Dan won the next two points to surge ahead 13-10. It was then that Choong Hann was faulted and that allowed Lin Dan to do what Chen Hong had failed to do last year, to keep the singles title in China.