Tough draw for Malaysians, four ‘Wangs’ in Saina’s way

Malaysia’s chances of winning its first ever World title suffered a major hiccup after both Lee Chong Wei and the men’s doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were given a tough draw for the YONEX-BWF World Championships 2010.

Both Lee and Koo-Tan are ranked World No 1 and went into the draw as the top seed but as the draw turned out, they could not have asked for a tougher draw.

In the men’s singles, Chong Wei has to negotiate a path that comprise teammate Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen, Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat or Japan’s Kenichi Tago and arch rival and three-time world champion Lin Dan – and all these before he can even reach the final. No Malaysian has ever won a gold medal at the World Championships.

Former Malaysia chief coach Razif Sidek, who was present at the draw in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, described the draw as “very, very difficult for the Malaysians.”

“They have a very, very difficult draw. Both for Lee Chong Wei and the men’s doubles pair of Koo and Tan,” said Razif.

“Although anything can happen at this level of competition, the Malaysian players have to be at their best from the very start of competition.”

Danish Embassy Deputy Head of Mission in Kuala Lumpur , Ms Helle Myrthue, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Honorary Secretary Ng Chin Chai, BAM General manager Kenny Goh and Badminton World Federation Chief Operating Officer Thomas Lund were also present at the draw.

Denmark’s Peter Gade, on the other hand, received a relatively easier draw but still have to contend with the likes of Chen Jin from China and Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro who has a knack of rising to the occasion in the World Championships.

Sony was runner up in 2007 and bronze medallist in 2009.

In the men’s doubles, Koo-Tan could face their nemesis Lee Yong Dae-Jung Jae Sung as early as the quarter-finals. The Koreans recently beat the Malaysians in the semi-finals of the Chinese Taipei Open last week.

Another Malaysian pair, Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah are expected to take on Indonesia’s reigning Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan in the third round.

India’s Saina Nehwal, enjoying  a career high world ranking of No 2, was drawn in the same half as two Wangs from China – Wang Shixin and Wang Xin.

Top seed Wang Yihan of China was drawn with Wang Lin and Denmark’s Tine Baun, formerly known as Tine Rasmussen.

For full details of the draw, log on to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=13950

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