NEWS : Poor call robs Choong-Lee of title

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  1. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Sport: Badminton/All-England Championships: Poor call robs Choong-Lee of title
    S.S. Dhaliwal

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    MALAYSIA were robbed by an incompetant English umpire in the final of the men's doubles competition of the All-England at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham this morning.

    Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah were on the verge of an historic win against Denmark's Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen but umpire Jane Hancock of Berkshire, England, spoiled the day.

    Two points stood between Tan Fook-Wan Wah and the coveted All-England crown but again, it was a case of so near yet so far as the Malaysians lost 15-9, 13-15, 15-3 in 74 minutes.

    After taking the first game 15-9, Tan Fook-Wan Wah were coasting to a win in the second game as they were leading 13-11.

    Before Eriksen made his serve, Wan Wah put up his hand to indicate he was not ready. But the Dane served and Jane awarded the point to the Danes.

    Wan Wah immediately protested and was shown the yellow card for protesting the umpire's decision.

    "I really cannot understand why the umpire allowed the service to stand as I had clearly held up my hand to indicate that I was not ready," said a dejected Wan Wah.

    "When I told her to call for the tournament referee, she showed me the yellow card apparently for protesting too long.

    "It is well within a player's right to call for the intervention of the tournament referee if there is a decision that is controversional in nature.

    "She claimed I had held up my hand once too often and if that was the case, why did she not warn me earlier. "The decision was not only harsh but it was apparent we were robbed of a win." Wan Wah's argument was supported by Danish coach Steen Pedersen, who felt the Malaysians had a fair case.

    "I did not see the incident when it occurred but the replays indicated the Malaysian player had his hand up," said Pedersen.

    "The umpire should have given him the benefit of doubt as the match was at a crucial stage and that was the turning point.

    "Had it occurred to my players, I would have created hell and the Malaysians have the right to feel agitated." The decision by Jane in awarding the point gave the Danes the confidence and they went on to wrap up the second game 15-13 to force rubber.

    In the third game, the Malaysians failed to lift their game as the Danes raced to a 13-2 lead before wrapping it up 15-3.

    The defeat meant the 22-year wait for a doubles title at All-England continued as the last time a Malaysian pair won the title was in 1982 when Razif-Jalani Sidek defeated Scotland's W. Gilliand-Don Travers.

    Although Razif-Jalani qualified for the final in 1986 and 1988, they lost to South Korea's Kim Moon Soo-Park Joo Bong and China's Li Yongbo-Tian Bingyi respectively.

    Doubles coach Yap Kim Hock partnered Cheah Soon Kit in the 1996 final but they lost to Indonesia's Rexy Mainaky-Ricky Subagja.

    Tan Fook-Wan Wah started positively and dominated the early stages of the first game.

    They led 9-0 before the Danes picked up their first point. The Malaysians then became complacent and allowed the Danes to claw to 8-11 before tightening their game to win 15-9 after 29 minutes.

    In the second game, the Malaysians squandered a 11-5 lead as they gave the Danes the advantage by lifting the shuttle too often.

    Still Tan Fook-Wan Wah held their nerve to lead 13-11 until the controversial decision by the umpire turned the tide in favour of the Danes.
     

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