National badminton doubles pair Vivian Hoo (left) and Woon Khe Wei in action in the semi-finals of the Singapore SEA Games on Monday. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: They make it look so easy.
In contrast to their male counterparts, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei and Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho (pic, below) were hardly troubled as they set up an all-Malaysian final in women’s doubles event.
Top seeds and defending champions Vivian-Khe Wei, were on top of their game at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Monday. They whipped Indonesia’s Anggia Shitta Awanda-Mahadewi Ni Ketut 21-12, 21-11 in the semi-final.
An hour later, Amelia-Fie Cho made it a double for Malaysia by thumping Maretha Dea Giovani-Suci Rizki Andini, also of Indonesia, 21-16, 23-21 in the other semi-final.
Malaysia are now guaranteed of at least two golds in badminton after Chong Wei Feng and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif made it to the men’s singles final.
Wei Feng scored a 13-21, 21-18, 21-15 win over top seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand while Arif ousted Singaporean Loh Kean Yew 22-20, 21-15.
“I was not really surprised at the outcome because we’ve prepared ourselves well. Now we’ll just have to go into the final and do our best for one more match,” said the 27-year-old Khe Wei.
Amelia-Fie have the psychological edge, having beaten the higher-ranked Vivian-Khe Wei in the final of the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold in January.
Khe Wei added: “We train together everyday and we are familiar with each other’s styles of play. It’s definitely not going to be easy.”
Malaysia have a shot at a third gold after the mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (pic, below) stunned top seeds Riky Widianto-Puspita Richii Dili of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying showed great resilience to subdue world No. 9 Riky-Puspita 21-18, 18-21, 22-20.
The Malaysians will take on second seeds Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto, also of Indonesia, for the gold medal on Tuesday.
Peng Soon and Liu Ying, the former world No. 3 now ranked 49th, only renewed their partnership in January. Liu Ying was unable to play for eight months last season due to knee injuries.
“After missing so much time together as a pair, making the final here is really worth the patience and the sacrifices I’ve made,” said Liu Ying.
*pic by FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR
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