Lee sets a date with Taufik

Discussion in 'South East Asian Games 2007 - Badminton' started by Loh, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Today
    December 14, 2007

    David Ngiau
    Deputy Sports Editor in Korat

    24 years after Wong Shoon Keat's triumph, his one-time pupil is following in his footsteps

    The last time a Singapore badminton player featured in the SEA Games men's singles final was in 1983, when Wong Shoon Keat won gold in front of home fans by downing Indonesia's world champion Icuk Sugiarto.

    Twenty-four years later, Wong's former student Kendrick Lee is on course to pull off an even greater feat.

    Lee, who was born the year after Wong's gold medal success, turned in another giant-killing act at the SEA Games here yesterday when he beat home favourite and world No 12 Boonsak Ponsana 21-18, 22-20 in their men's singles semi-final clash at the Vongchavalitkul University Indoor Stadium.

    Lee, 23, had earlier dumped Indonesian second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro, the world No 6, in the round of 16.

    Boonsak had beaten Lee in their previous two meetings - a Thomas Cup qualifier in 2002 and the Thai Open in 2005 - but it was third time lucky for the Singaporean as he prevailed in straight games.

    Lee's opponent in the final today (4.20 pm, Singapore time) will be Indonesia's reigning Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, who needed a rubber game to beat Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh (21-15, 14-21, 21-14) in their semi-final clash.

    Back in Singapore, Wong was over the moon.

    "I'm so happy for Kendrick," he said yesterday, minutes after his former pupil's triumph. "This is a dream come through."

    Wong's win over Icuk, who admittedly was running a high fever on the day of the final, sealed his place in history, as he became the first Singapore man to win singles gold at the SEA Games.

    Eight years later, Lee's father asked Wong to coach his seven-year-old son.

    "I've always thought Kendrick had the talent and the self-belief to excel in badminton," said Wong, 50, who is a committee member of the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA).

    "I had him for only two to three years before he was spotted and drafted into the SBA programme."

    After his stunning triumph, Lee paid tribute to his first coach.

    "I didn't know how to play badminton at all when he started coaching me ... he basically taught me everything I know. All my basic skills, I owe to him," he said.

    "Can I repeat his feat? I hope so."

    Taufik has already beaten Lee here.

    On Monday, the world No 7 just pipped him 12-21, 22-20, 21-9 in the opening singles of the men's team final, which Indonesia went on to win 3-0.

    But Wong is tipping Lee to match his own feat.

    "I believe he has a good chance of turning the tables on Taufik," said Wong.

    "I watched him in the team event and really, it was anybody's game. And Kendrick has nothing to lose."

    After Lee's victory, there was more to celebrate as Singapore's world No 23 men's doubles pair of Hendri Saputra and Hendra Wijaya caused another upset, beating Indonesia's Hendra Gunawan and Joko Riyadi 21-19, 21-19 to advance to the final.

    They will face the other Indonesian pair of Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan in today's final.
     
    #1 Loh, Dec 13, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  2. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    All the best to Kendrick. I also hope he can land a Gold in badminton for Singapore also.
     
  3. alfa-2

    alfa-2 Regular Member

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    i dont think he stands a chance against TH in individual tournament.
     
  4. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i dont think someone who just beaten soni D. and boonsak is a pushover.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    It's left to be seen.

    But no bets for satays, although I also think he stands a chance to make Singapore Badminton history! :):):)

    GO, GO, GO,KENDRICK
     
  6. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    shuttlecock is triangle, anything can happen...:)
    hehe
     
  7. modious

    modious Regular Member

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    Based on current form, I feel KL stands a good chance of beating TH. ;)
     
  8. jug8man

    jug8man Regular Member

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    Depends how you look at it. it could be that things are coming full CIRCLE hehe :D
     
  9. indra

    indra Regular Member

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    Remember my statement....9 years from now....SIngapore will be one of the badminton powerhouses in the world....just like Ina and Malaysia...
     
  10. Oldhand

    Oldhand Moderator

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    My Seven Cents

    If Kendrick plays as fast today as he did yesterday against Boonsak, I'd give him a very healthy chance against Taufik :)

    However, if he chooses the cautious approach (like his senior Ronald Susilo), Taufik will wash him down with a glass of Es Avocad or Teh Talia :crying:
     
  11. jug8man

    jug8man Regular Member

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    Okie..... but why not like China??? :D
     
  12. Oldhand

    Oldhand Moderator

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    Er, it happened :eek:
     
  13. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    and taufik bt kendrick lee in straight set to take the gold
     
  14. Xinguy

    Xinguy Regular Member

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    Hmmm kendrick had lost to taufik straight game 21/15 21/9 anw well done kendrick keep it up with the good work:)
     
  15. alfa-2

    alfa-2 Regular Member

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    9 yrs from now.........well, maybe we won't witness anything 9 yrs from now.:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  16. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    9 years from now..

    :p..well, of course, we won't see the current batch of INA players anymore; heck maybe even less than 9 yrs...so, yes, the possibility is definitely there...;):cool:
     
  17. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    I went home early just to watch the finals on TV.

    It was very disappointing that we did not see a more entertaining and competitive rivalry as Taufik completely mastered Kendrick! :(

    I think Kendrick gave too much respect to Taufik, as evidenced not only in his very cautious play, but also in the interview the night before when he sang praises of Taufik as the world's best shuttler.

    Although he managed to take a game off Taufik in the team singles, he was all at sea in the individual finals. As the match progressed, he became even worse, salvaging only 9 points in the second game! Even Nyugen Tien Minh, Vietnam's top player managed to stretch Taufik to three games in the semi-finals.

    Kendrick was unable to repeat his scintillating performance against Boonsak the day before. He was decidedly slower and too cautious even at the net, which he had carried to great effect against Boonsak. He made too many errors, most of them unforced and literally handed the title to Taufik as a result.

    We can only hope he will continue to train harder, particularly on his mental strength, which has improved but still lacking, and make a name for himself on his journey to the Beijing Olympics. :)

    A plus factor on his side is that Kendrick at 23 is still young for yet another Olympics, if he still has the motivation and stamina for success.
     
    #17 Loh, Dec 16, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
  18. abedeng

    abedeng Regular Member

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    Yes, it was a missed opportunity. One would think that Kendrick had done the hardest part, eliminating Boonsak.

    But ok, I will still give him a passing mark, since Taufik was also hungry for success after several bridesmaid finishes.
     
  19. ye333

    ye333 Regular Member

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    Taufik played smart

    I think one of the reason is that Taufik played quite cleverly. Boonsak was too eager to win, and fired smashes after smashes to Kendrick, which in fact made things easier for Kendrick since he only need to follow Boonsak and return those smashes. As the game progressed, Boonsak got impatient and made tons of errors and finally lost confidence.

    In contrast, Taufik was more patient and more accurate than Boonsak. He forced Kendrick to made all the crucial decisions. This time it was Kendrick who made errors and finally lost confidence.

    Of course, if it was not final, if it was say quarter-final, I believe Kendrick can do much better.

    Figuratively, in a Zombie movie, playing Boonsak is like you are face to face with a Zombie, then it's easy, just fight all you can; While Taufik is like telling you there is a Zombie hiding somewhere in the room, and wait till you panick and crash under pressure.
     
    #19 ye333, Dec 17, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  20. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    Hmm..

    ..i didn't know Kendrick is still 23 years young (as i remember him, from 3 yrs ago, during the U.S. Open)...I thought, at the very least, he's 25 years young...:cool:
     

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