Olympic bid may be over if doubles pair return empty-handed

Discussion in '2004 Tournaments' started by ants, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    PETALING JAYA: Former national number one Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng will have to give up the chase for a place in the Athens Olympic Games if they do not return from their current outing in Europe with at least the French Open title.

    In the Swiss Open last week, they went down 7-15, 12-15 to top seeds and world champions Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark in the second round.

    They will play in the All-England, which begins in Birmingham tomorrow followed by the French Open in Paris next week.

    National doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock said in a telephone interview from Basel yesterday: “The plan was for them to clear at least the first rounds in both the Swiss Open and All-England and win the French Open title.

    “If they struggle to meet these targets, it is better they forget about the Olympics and concentrate on the Thomas Cup Finals.”

    The Olympics will be held in August while the Thomas Cup Finals will be played in Jakarta in May.

    Chong Ming-Choon Eng have a tough task clearing the first round at the All-England.

    They will be up against Indonesia's seasoned doubles players Sigit Budiarto and Trikus Hariyanto.

    But Kim Hock remained optimistic about their chances to get past the Indonesians.

    “They lost in the second round of the Swiss Open and was even leading 12-5 in the second game. But overall, I was happy with Chong Ming's performances. It was his first tournament in five months and he adapted quite well,” said Kim Hock.

    The 24-year-old Chong Ming was kept after of international competitions after suffering a shoulder injury in the Dutch Open in October.

    “His combination with Choon Eng and defence were satisfactory. But he is finding difficulty in killing shots because his smashes lacked power,” said Kim Hock.

    “I expect to see improvement in the All-England.

    “They have a tough opening match but there is still a chance for them to create an upset.”

    Chong Ming-Choon Eng are now ranked 49th in the world. They have to be among the top 16 in the world by the end of the Olympic qualification period on April 30 to compete in Athens.

    At the All-England, besides Chong Ming-Choon Eng, Malaysia will be represented in the men's doubles by Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Gan Teik Chai-Koo Kien Keat.
     

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