Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Favourable Draw For Chong Wei In The Laos Sea Games

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) -- Datuk Lee Chong Wei, the world's number one shuttler, is expected to cruise easily to the semifinals when he was drawn against minnows in the first and quarterfinal rounds of the 25th SEA Games in Laos in December.

At the draw held in Vientiane, Laos, Chong Wei, the top seed in the biennial event, is expected to overcome Vietnamese Nguyen Hoang Hai before facing either Phakomkham Fongmalayseng from Laos or Patricque Francisco De Jesus Magnete from the Philippines in the quarterfinals.

His rival in the semifinals is either third seed Boonsak Ponsana from Thailand or unseeded Simon Santoso from Indonesia.

While in the bottom-half of the draw, 2003 All-England champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim will battle against Indonesian Sony Dwo Kuncoro, seeded fourth.

If Muhammad Hafiz succeeds in beating Kuncoro, the Malaysian will square off against second seed Nguyen Tien Minh from Vietnam.

For the record, the Vietnamese defeated Chong Wei in a rubber-set in the second round of Singapore Super Series in June.

Chong Wei's fate in the SEA Games however will be decided later this week as he was reported to be exhausted after back-to-back tournaments for the past two months.

According to SEA Games regulation, the Malaysian can only be replaced if he produces a medical certificate on his injury.

For the record, Chong Wei never won a gold in the men's singles event of the biennial event.

In the women's singles, Malaysia's badminton queen, Wong Mew Choo, seeded third, received a "bye" in Round 1 before facing either Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti or Xing Aiying from Singapore in the quarterfinals.

If Mew Choo gets through the quarterfinals, she will face top seed Salakjit Ponsana from Thailand in the semifinals.

Another Malaysian, Lydia Cheah, drawn in the bottom-half, will face an uphill task when facing the fourth seed, Zhang Beiwen of Singapore in the quarterfinals.

In the men's doubles, world number one pair and second seed in the SEA Games, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong are expected to book a ticket in the finals if they can beat the young Indonesian pair of Bona Septano/Mohammad Ahsan in the semifinals.

Another Malaysian pair, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari/Mohd Zakry Abd Latif, who were drawn in the top-half, will face an acid test when facing the Olympic champion from Indonesia who are also the top seed, Hendra Setiawan/Markis Kido in the semifinals.

Malaysia's top women's pair, Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty also have a favourable draw against minnows and are expected to face either the third seed Meiliane Jauhari/Shendy Puspa Irawati from Indonesia or unseeded Duanganong Arronkesorn/Kunchala Voravichitchaikul from Thailand in the semifinals.

The badminton events of the 25th SEA Games will be held from Dec 10-17 at Gymnasium 1, National Sports Complex, 20 km from the Vientiane city centre.


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