Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Peng Shuai was destined for stardom the moment she turned professional in 2001 when she was only 15 years of age.
Not even a heart surgery when she was 12 years old dampened her spirits to excel in the game.
“I’ve been playing all this while with no problem. It was something I was born with and had to undergo a surgery,” said Peng Shuai who has not looked back since then.
But the BMW Malaysian Open third seed and world number 19 ,who hails from China, has yet to win a WTA title and that remains her goal in every WTA tournament she participates.
She defeated Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger 6-1,4-6,6-2 in the opening round and will play Kristyna Plisikova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last eight.
Among the big names that have fallen to the Chinese star are Elena Dementieva, Dinara Safina, Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, Amélie Mauresmo, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Janković, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwańska, and even compatriot and Asian No. 1 Li Na.
“I have been so close many times but was unable to win. I hope that can change soon and my goal is to do better in Grand Slam events,” said Peng Shuai.
The Asian Number 2 is hoping to land the BMW Malaysian Open title at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort, for she feels at home in Kuala Lumpur. She was listed to play last year but withdrew at the last minute.
“I wanted to play but could not arrange for a visa in time. Many things here remind me of China and the people here speak my mother tongue too. It feels like I am in Hong Kong,” said Peng Shuai.
“I prefer the hard court too and honestly the courts here suit my game. I did not realize that I was seeded so high as I wanted to come and enjoy a good time, without undue pressure. So much so I did not even pay notice to who else was coming initially.”
Peng Shuai, who usually partners Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-Wei in doubles, explained why she opted against playing the doubles this time.
“It has been a hectic schedule so far. I played singles and doubles in Doha and Dubai before getting here. I wanted to take a break. I intend to resume the doubles duty in Indian Wells,” she added.
“Among my targets this year is to stay injury free and keep fit. So the decision not play in the doubles is a safety precaution against getting injured”
Peng Shuai resumed training under coach Allen Ma in December 2010 after going separate ways for several years. She reckons that Ma is more than just a coach to her.
“He helps with everything, even my personal issues. It was only logical for me to get him back as coach. I need to train a lot and avoid getting injured,” she added.
The 2010 Asian Games champion will represent China at the London Olympics later year.
“It will be held on grass and I don’t like playing on it. But it is held every year and will be a big event for the whole of China. All the Chinese players will want to do well as winning medals at the Olympics means a lot.”
“But it’s only in July so I will focus of the WTA tournaments for now,” she added. 


Since the BAM Council has now overturned the decision of the high and mighty Coaching and Training Committee who denied Zulfadli Zulkifli a chance to join the training camp for the Thomas Cup, kudos are in store for the BAM President.

However what is perturbing is the fact that the C&T Chairman is still hanging on to his position despite the fact that his attempt to derail the vision of the BAM as a whole did not materialize.

And to the official from Penang who virtually ridiculed a former great Dato James Selvaraj, who was giving his expert opinion to include Zulfadli, but was embarrassed by this official from the island, perhaps you owe James an apology.

In reality can anyone within BAM explain if the members of the C&T have played badminton to the level James has played. Most of them played just at state level and yet have the audacity to embarrass a former great.

If the Chairman of C&T has any pride, he should relinquish his position as Chairman since he has been accused in The Star on Tuesday as practicing double standards.

So guess I do not have to resign for you won the battle but not the war. Hence it's best that you leave while you can.


Second seed and World No. 14 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia survived a scare against Caroline Garcia of France before booking her place in the second round of the BMW Malaysian Open at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.

Jankovic, who celebrated her birthday today (Tuesday), was made to work for a win by the World No. 142 Garcia.

The match ended 6(7)-7, 6-4 7-6(2) and stretched way into midnight, keeping the fans at the edge of their seats.

Both players broke each others serves in the first set and went into a tie breaker.
Garcia came from behind twice but it was the former World No.1 Jankovic who held her nerve and remained composed to edge home 9-7 in the tie breaker and record a win the first set 7-6.

The 19-year-old promising Frenchwoman started the second set in style breaking the birthday girl’s game but was unable to hold serve in the next game.

Garcia again broke serve in the fifth game to 3-2. She then held serve to give a 4-2 advantage and held her serve to close the second set 6-4, this forcing a third set to decide the outcome.

The third set was interrupted by a short drizzle with Jankovic leading 1-0 after holding serve.

Both players held their next couple of serves until Garcia broke serve in the seventh game. Garcia was inch close to wrap the tie but a late resurgence by Jankovic who had tricks up her sleeves broke Garcia’s serve in the tenth game.

Garcia broke Jankovic’s serve again but the Serb wasn’t prepared to give up just yet as the match went into a tie-breaker.

Jankovic turned up the style , never giving Garcia a chance as she wrapped the tie breaker 7-1.

The Serb will now meet Jill Crabas of United States who defeated Japanese lass Yurika Sema earlier in the day.

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska’s (Poland) match against Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan has been postponed to Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Indian tennis superstar Sania Mirza was sent packing in the opening round of the BMW Malaysian Open this evening.

She was defeated by Greek player Eleni Daniilidou 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 and was is said to be leaving Kuala Lumpur and heading for home tonight itself.

And although she revealed at the post match conference that she was feeling under the weather, Sania was honest enough not to attribute her illness as a reason for her defeat.

"I was having a fever and was feeling lethargic given the fact that I just flew in from Dubai yesterday. But I am not taking any credit away from my opponent as she played well and deserved the win," said Sania.

The poor singles run further dented Sania's ranking as the Indian slipped to 129, a loss of 16 places, in the latest WTA list issued on Monday.

Sania had lost in the WTA Dubai Open qualifiers in the singles but did well in doubles by ending runners-up along with Elena Vesnina.
In 2012 Australian Open, Sania lost in the first round to Tsvetana Pironkova 4–6, 2–6 and in doubles, she reached semifinals. 

She also reached semifinal in the mixed doubles at the same event. Mirza won her 13th WTA title with Australian Anastasia Rodionova at the PTT Pattaya Open.

The 29-year-old Greek player defeated former World No.1 Justin Henin in the first round of the 2005 Wimbledon Championships. She achieved her career highest rank No.14 on May 12, 2003 in singles.

Gajdosova chasing form revival

Australian Jarmilla Gajdosova will surely stop many in their tracks at the BMW Malaysian Open in Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club.
The 24-year-old is making her second appearance in Kuala Lumpur, citing the warmness – in both weather and the people - being the main reason for her return after reaching the semifinals last year.
She isn't playing with much consistency this season, and will be hoping that a lengthy run at the BMW Malaysian Open will help to get her season back on track. The Australian has struggled in recent weeks, and she enters this tournament off of the back of a first round exit in Doha. 
And she struggled to win her opening match against Kathrin Woerle of Germany, coming from a set down to eventually prevail 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5.
“It was really easy making a decision to come back to the BMW Malaysian Open. I was delighted when I received as wildcard entry for the tournament.
“All the people here are nice me – the tournament organisers, club staff and player services. I can have no complains, not even on the weather.
The world No. 45 reckoned her living in the Gold Coast in Australia makes her love the weather here. “The sunshine basically helps me,” said Jarmilla.
Those who were present during last year’s BMW Malaysian Open will know her better as Jarmilla Groth. She was a crowd favourite but she was stopped in her tracks in the last four stage by eventual losing finalist Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic .
But it was after the BMW Malaysian Open last year that tested the resolve of this player.
For her two year marriage to her tennis-playing husband Sam Groth ended and some even went on to question her loyalty to Australia.
Any lesser a person would have folded, but not Jarmilla who took all in her stride, letting the tennis courts become her sanctuary.
She hit a career high of 25 a month after the break-up and revealed that it was tennis that got her back into facing reality.
However with a top 20 ranking in sight, she suffered from illness during the North American hardcourt season and the rest of 2011 unraveled.

The now world No.40 suffered further dents to her confidence during the Australian summer, including a 6-0 6-0 loss to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli at the Hopman Cup and first round exit at the Australian Open.

Speaking on her expectations this year, the BMW Malaysian Open fourth seed believes it will be tough to make the later stages considering the strong field this year.
“The draw is tough and the stronger field this year makes it more difficult. But it is great to have all the players here. The organisers are doing a great job. That is probably the reason the likes of Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) and Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) chose to play,” she added.
Jarmilla will have to juggle between the singles and doubles in the BMW Malaysian Open as she has opted to partner compatriot Casey Dellacqua in the doubles competition.
They are tops seeds and have moved into quarterfinals after defeating the French-Chinese combination of Iryna Bremond and Kheng Sasai. 
“It’s not really hard to balance between the two as I have partnered Casey before. I thought it would be fun to do it again so we are giving it shot in Kuala Lumpur.  There should be enough recovery time for me,” said Jarmilla.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Defending champion Jelena Dokic of Australia showed just why she is serious about defending her only WTA title since 2007.

She easily disposed her opponent, Kristina Mladenovic of France, in straight sets – winning 6-3, 6-1 in merely 1 hour and 11 minutes at the BMW Malaysian Open at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club.

However, the 29-year-old refused to accept it was an easy match stating “no match is easy. Maybe it did look that way but I earned my points.”

“Of course Mladenovic did make some double faults which always helps but I still had to work hard,” said Dokic.

The match began with both players seemingly on par, managing to hold serve until the sixth game where the Australian broke serve. She then held serve to lead 5-2. Both players held their serves then on.

“The crucial point was when the match was at 2-2 and that was when I had to become more aggressive. After breaking her serve when leading 3-2, she fell apart,” she added.

Any hope of a comeback by the Frenchwomen was quickly dismissed by a determined Dokic as she blazed through the second set in just 27 minutes.

She broke serve in the third, fifth and seventh games to win the set 6-1.

“I started to come in more and tried to dominate the game. That is where I had the advantage.”

Dokic will play Olivia Rogowska of Australia who defeated Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria earlier in the day.

In other matches, Japan’s Misaki Doi defeated wild card Olga Puchkova of Russia. Misaki will meet either Ayumi Morita of Japan or qualifier Nudnida Luangnam of Thailand.

Meanwhile in the doubles event, top seeds Jarmila Gajdosova and Casey Dellacqua from Australia defeated Iryna Bremond and Zheng Saisai from France and China respectively.

The Australian pair will meet either Erika Sema and Kathrin Woerle (Japan-Germany) or Elena Bovina-Anne Keothavong (Russia-Great Britain).

Bovina and Keothavong won the first set 6-3 but play was suspended and will resume tomorrow due to rain.


Petra Martic is still without a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title since turning pro in July 2008.
But her gusty performance in the opening day of the BMW Malaysian Open has given her the confidence to look at the rest of the week with renewed optimism.
Though the fifth seed and world number 66 of Croatia was taken to three sets by unseeded Erika Sema of Japan at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club, she is looking ahead and hopes to progress far in the WTA event.

The Japanese World No. 138 could have created an upset but the Croat managed to stay composed after the first set loss to eventually win the match 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“I didn’t know my opponent so only thing I could do is focus on my own play. But I wasn’t happy in the first set. I didn’t hold serve which was disappointing,” said Martic.

“It was a long match plus the heat wasn’t favourable. I flew here from Dubai but it was not this hot there. Playing in the heat is not easy but it is the same for both players.

“I had to more aggressive and saw the results of it. I could hold serve more often and that was crucial,” she added.

Martic began playing tennis at age 5 when mother introduced her to the sport. The baseliner whose favorite shot is serve and favorite surface is hard court is capable of playing good tennis when sets her mind to it.
Thus not even a break in play due to intermittent rain could douse the spirit of the Croatian.
“I wasn’t happy with the rain as I was in a good momentum,” she added.

The Croat had called on her coach during the third set but dismissed that she was seeking to change anything in particular to her game. “I just wanted to get some encouragement.”

Both players took turns to break each other’s serve in the first set with it being a normal affair until the fifth and sixth game. Martic broke serve yet again but Sema was keeping within touching distance in the eighth game. She then held serve for only the second time in the first set and broke Martic’s serve to win the set 6-4.
The second set went the totally opposite despite starting the same way as it was Martic breaking Sema’s serve in the first game. Both players managed to hold their serves for the remaining games but that one break proved decisive as Martic took the set 6-4 to force a third.
In the third and final set both players tried to out rally each other but remained cautious when serving. Martic could have broken Sema’s serve on multiple occasions but eagerness to finish the game off was hampering any real progress.
However she did hold her nerves and break Sema’s serve in the seventh game.
However Sema broke her serve in 10th game to draw level at 5-5 before the rain interrupted play. But Martic held her nerve to finish off the match.
Meanwhile earlier in the day Thai lass Nudnida Luangnam defeated Elena Bovina of Russia to take up one of the four qualifier places. She will meet sixth seed Ayumi Morita of Japan in the first round.
Meanwhile the Pliskova sisters, Karolina and Kristyna, of Czech Republic both made into the main draw after defeating Elena Bogdan of Romania and Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand respectively. Karolina will meet Chang Kai-Chen of Chinese Taipei while Kristyna will play Iryna Bremond of France in the first round of the BMW Malaysian Open.
Qualifying top seed Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei also made into to the main draw as she defeated Ayu Fani Damatanti of Indonesia. She will next play Great Britain’s Anne Keothvong, who is the seventh seed.
Meanwhile earlier in the day Olivia Rogowska of Russia defeated Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria to be the first player into the second round. She will now meet either Jelena Dokic of Australia or Kristina Mladenovic of France who are scheduled to play later tonight.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


It seems that either all major dailies do not understand English or the personality making statements for the Badminton Association of Malaysia seems to be speaking Manglish.

For how would one understand the statement with regards to the non inclusion of World and Asian Youth Champion Zulfadli Zulkifli from the Thomas Cup training squad.

On one hands he claims that Zulfadli should join BAM if he wants to be part of the Thomas Cup training squad. And while it is not alright for Zulfadli who is attached to KLRC, it is perfectly okay for Hafiz Hashim, also a KLRC player, to join the squad in training despite still bring with the club.

Does this make sense or is it holding a poor boy at ransom and telling him that you will not be considered for a national assignment until you ditch your club.

That brings the question as to why is BAM hell bent of trying to get Zulfadli to leave BAM. They tried all kind of ways and have now resorted to bullying an 18 year old.

What kind of message is BAM sending? That as long as you are not with them you cannot don national colors.

We shall now have to resort to looking at the constitution to resolve this issue and maybe the Sports Minister and NSC Director General may have to look at the role of BAM again.

But one thing is clear, BAM are being run like a mob and has anything really changed as they deny a poor Malay boy his rights to don the colors of his beloved country.

Meritocracy is a taboo word within BAM and if he has any dignity left after creating so many blunders perhaps it's time to atone.

After all the former Secretary was fair in all such matters.


It seems that the person who ends every argument with a now famous catch phrase " in the interest of the nation " has passed a remark that the Badminton Association of Malaysia cannot work with KLRC as he cannot deal with me.

It shows that a national body has no class and tries lay the blame on everyone else except an incompetent personality.

That goes on to prove that all this interest of the nation clarion call that hebis so famous for is a load of bull as this person just cannot accept the fact that he is a person unable to be fair and has vested interest instead of thinking
for the betterment of the sport.

It was evident from the time he blundered in naming a different pair to the one that qualified on merit that he will not be bigger then the sport and admit the mistake.

So much so that he even dragged his association through the ignominy of going through mediation and even there he would not admit defeat.

And in the end BAM has ended up paying for tournaments for the pair and if that's not an admission of guilt then by what name does one call it - perhaps interest of the nation.

This personality is now defying the calls of experts as well as the fans and even the NSC Director General in allowing World and Asian Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkifli from being included into the training squad for the Thomas Cup finals in Wuhan this May.

So much so that he even told the media that Zulfadli will be considered to the squad should he join the BAM.

Taking the credit away from KLRC is what it's all about. It's obvious your programs have failed, so much so you had no confidence in the squad at the Thomas Cup Qualifiers.

Tell you what, I will quit KLRC if you quit BAM. Until then you are not within my pay bracket so go pass snide remarks all you want for that shows your ability to make sane decisions in the interest of the nation.

Friday, February 17, 2012


FIFA security chief leaves in potential match-fixing blow

FIFA’s head of security Chris Eaton is leaving soccer’s governing body in a potential blow to the fight against match-fixing.

The Australian former Interpol officer has been at the forefront of FIFA’s campaign against match-fixing and last month said that 2012 would be a fundamental year in the battle against one of the biggest threats facing the sport.

Eaton will join the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security as the organisation’s director of sport security in May.

“I am sad to be leaving FIFA, but I am pleased to take with me an experience and knowledge that only FIFA within the current environment can provide,” Eaton said in a FIFA statement on Friday.

“I am taking a new challenge that will encompass all sports, many of which could learn from FIFA’s approach to combating match fixing.”

Eaton, initially appointed to look after security issues at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has travelled the world in the last year leading the campaign against the rigging of games, which is usually orchestrated by illegal gambling rings.

He has called for greater co-operation from governments and police, saying that match-fixing is the work of organised criminal gangs which soccer’s authorities cannot take on alone.
Under Eaton’s blunt leadership,

FIFA has offered an amnesty to players who have been involved in match-fixing and come forward with evidence.

A match-fixing hotline has also been setup and last year FIFA set up a 10-year agreement with Interpol.

Eaton has warned that criminal gangs are infiltrating football, setting up youth and referee training academies and buying small clubs in a bid to extend their influence.

“FIFA remains fully committed to the fight against match-fixing, an area where it has undertaken pioneering work,” said the FIFA statement.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Await the video interview with Badminton Association of Malaysia Deputy President who speaks on a host of issues ranging from the omission of Hendrawan, disassociating BAM from the statement that Thomas Cup is no longer relevant and working together with clubs.

Seen as the man who will take over the mantle from the current BAM President, Al Amin is a person who dares make changes.

But will his frankness get him into trouble with the "mafia" within BAM?


Malaysia  secured a place in the Thomas Cup final round this May after they defeated India  3-0  in the last eight.

But it looks as if the Uber Cup team face a daunting task as they lost to  Thailand and need to come out tops in the play-offs that comprise Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. They play Hong Kong first at 9.00am Friday.

Lee Chong Wei, looking somewhat jaded, defeated Ajay Jayaram 21-12, 17-21, 21-8 in 47 minutes to give Malaysia a 1-0 lead.

And doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong gave Malaysia their second point after they defeated Rupesh Kumar/Sanave thomas 21-14,23-21.

Muhd Hafiz Hashim delivered the winning point as he defeated Kashyap Parupalli 21-17, 18-21, 21-11.

For the Uber cup, Tee Jing Yi lost to Ratchanok Inthanon 8-21,7-21 in 29 minutes while Lydia Cheah spent less time on court, losing 19-21,13-21 to Porntip Buranaprasetsuk.

And it was all over in the third singles as Yang Li Lian lost 12-21,10-21 to Sapsiree Taerattanachal.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Many will claim credit or start to lay their claim on the improvement shown by doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong who defeated their bogey Korean pair for the first time.

But it was not the efforts of these braggers who really are just hangers on but the men behind the scene are really those who matter.

One such person was Roesdi Ghani from the National Sports Institute, a Kelantanese who never learnt how to speak the Thai dialect despite growing up near the Malaysia- Thailand border.

Roesdi is the man who has made the pair faster and stronger and it all boils down to changes he initiated in their physical training.

Watch Roesdi share his thoughts on how committed the duo were in adapting to changes. Ad Roesdi also says that Koo/Tan are good enough for a medal at the Olympics.


Should Malaysia defeat India in their Thomas Cup Qualifier quarter final clash this evening at the Forum in Macau, skipper Lee Chong Wei wants the younger players to be fielded for the remaining matches and allow himself and doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong to start preparations for the All England.

Speaking to this blog after Malaysia had secured a 2-0 lead against Korea ( which the eventually won 3-2), Chong Wei felt that it was vital to give the youngsters exposure as they will be better equipped at the final round in May.

And Chong Wei wants to start their preparation on Friday, assuming Malaysia defeats India in the last eight. Watch the video below:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong gave Malaysia a 2-0 lead in the Thomas Cup match against Korea when they defeated their bogey opponents Yoo Yeon Seong/Ko Hyun Sung at the Forum in Macau tonight, winning 21-14,21-19.

And the second doubles pair of Lim Khim Wah/Goh V Shern came from a set down to defeat the much vaunted Lee Yong Dae/Shin Baek Choei 18-21, 21-19, 21-11 to ensure an easier last eight match.

Earlier skipper Lee Chong Wei giving Malaysia the first point after an effortless 21-13,21-15 win over Lee Hyun Ill.

Malaysia  play India in the last eight tomorrow.

Watch the videos below on what the players and coaches say below:

The Malaysian pair looked more composed and with Koo sharp at the net, they raced to a 7-4 lead. Not even a bad line call early in the match affected the composure of the Malaysian pair.

Yoo looked a bit lost in the early stages of the set, making many unforced errors to hand over easy points. And the attacking play adopted by Koo/Tan paid dividends as they led 11-6 at the break.

There was no letting off and Koo was playing as if his life depended on the match, making crucial interceptions at the net for a 16-7 lead.

However the Malaysian fell into a lull of complacency as they allowed the Koreans to dictate play at the closing stages of the first set.

They allowed the Koreans just another seven points before wrapping up the first set 21-14.

In the second the Malaysians raced to an early 4-2 lead but it was neck to neck after the Koreans caught up. But Koo/Tan held their nerves and raced to a 9-6 lead.

Two more errors by the Koreans gave Malaysia a 11-7 lead at the breather and an upset was on the cards.

But all of a sudden the performance of the Malaysians dropped as the Koreans narrowed the gap and led 14-13 at one stage.

It was once again neck to neck as both pairs fought tooth and nail until the Koreans broke away from 17 all to lead19-17.

The Malaysians objected to the service of Ko and this worked as the Koreans gave away the next two points and it was 19-19.

And the Malaysians went on to seal a historic win.

But the 2-0 lead was squandered as Mohd Hafiz Hashim was a pale shadow of the player he was. Although he was just a point away from winning the first set he lost 22-24 against Shon Wan Ho.

And in the second the Korean was at his element and won 21-16 to put Korea back into the fight.

In the second doubles, the Malaysian pair of Lim Khim Wah/Goh V Shem gave a good account of themselves against the Koreans Lee Yong Dae/Shin Baek Choei.

It was a close fight in the first set and although the Malaysians lost set 18-21, they played with more purpose in the second and led 16-14 at one stage.

Though the Koreans caught up to 18-18, the Malaysians kept their composure to win the second 21-19 and force it to a third a final set which they dominated to win 21-11.

In the final match, Arif Abdul Latif lost to Hong Ji Hoon 17-21,15-21 but Malaysia were already home and dry by then.

And Malaysia are expected to sail into the final round as India are no match for them, not with the renewed confidence of the doubles pairs.


Watching youngster Yang Li Lian on court was a sight to behold. But what was more pleasant was the manner in which she handled questions from the media the day after her emotional win in the crucial match against India.

Watch the videos as Li Lian speak of her opponent and what went through her mind during the titanic struggle.

Yang Li Lian is one of the few sports personalities that are gifted with the ability to perform on and off the court.

For the 19 year old lass that became the darling of Malaysian badminton after her come from behind win over India's Sayali in the Uber Cup match in Macau on Thursday night scored 9 A's in her SPM ( O Levels) examination last year.

And she is currently pursuing her A Levels at Help College and aspires to qualify in the field of actuarial science.

For those who may not know, actuarial science  is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. 

It will not be out of the equation to say that Li Lian is an accidental hero for she was a last minute inclusion after Sonia Cheah was ruled out due to a bone infection. But being left out of events is something she has become accustomed too as BAM has not given her much exposure.

"I did not expect to play but took the chance when fielded. Infact I was not in the squad when it was first named," said Li Lian who adores Wong Mew Choo and hopes to better her performances.

"I am not the type to sulk over being omitted but take that as a challenge for it inspires me to train harder in order to achieve my goal.

"At times it saddens me when I am left out from overseas assignments but what can I do about it but to prove my worth by performing better."

Li Lian is willing to put her studies on hold, or rather take a longer time to finish her A Levels and her degree in the future for she has her mind set on playing in the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics.

"It is my dream to play at the Olympic and I have given myself 4 years to achieve that dream. It will not be easy but I am prepared to slog hard in order to make it," said Li Lian who was inspired to play the sport by her brother.

"My focus right now is on the quarterfinal match and I aim to deliver the point if fielded again. But hopefully I may not need to play as I am confident my team mates can seal the win even before I need to take to the courts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


There was eerie silence at the venue of the Thomas/Uber Cup Qualifiers at the Forum Macau. But on occasions several cheers broke out from the stands as the only tie for the evening session was being played.

The battle for a place in the last eight between Malaysia and India in the Uber Cup was poised at 2-2 ayt the end of four matches played and the two players holding court, as all other ties were long over, were India's Sayali Gokhale and Malaysia's Yang Li Lian.

Sayali took the first set easily 21-11 but lost the second 15-21. And in the dead rubber it was Sayali who led comfortabl. 11-2 at one stage. But it was scripted in heavens that Malaysia will be the team playing in the last eight as Li Lian won 22-20. 

"I never expected it to come to this as I was a reserve in the team and did not even though that I will get a chance to play, " said an elated Li Lian who is 19.

"When I was down in the rubber, all I was doing was to collect one point at a time and suddenly my opponent felt the pressure more then me.

"There is no such thing as me being a hero as it was a team effort and I am happy to have contributed to the team."

In the opening singles, Saina Nehwal who was still feeling the effects of a viral fever defeated Tee Jing Yi 21-17, 21-16. But the Malaysian had herself to blame, leading 7-0 in the first set and Saina looking a pale shadow of herself.

But instead of taking advantage of the frail Saina, Jing Yi was the one who sent the shuttle out most of the time.

But Malaysia were on level terms as ace doubles pair Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei tty defeated the flamboyant Jwala Gutta and her partner Ashwini Ponnappa 21-12, 21-16 in just 34 minutes.

The superiority in the Indian singles showed yet again as PV Sindhu came from a set down to defeat Lydia Cheah 16-21, 21-13,21-9.

But the Malaysian doubles pair of Goh Liu Ying/Vivian Hoo defeated Prajakata Sawant/Pradnya Gadre 21-17, 21-17.

And the stage was set for youngster Li Lian to break the hearts of the Indians and send them out of the last eight.



Many a time our sports heroes squander their earnings from their years of toiling on the arena. But it will be different for Lee Chong Wei, undoubtedly the most recognised face of Malaysian sports over the last few years.

For Chong Wei, despite all the focus on him, has decided to look ahead for the post badminton days and has formed a development company called Chong Wei BinaJaya.

The appearance of the company was somewhat kept under wraps during the launch of his book last month.

But there was no hiding the fact that Chong Wei BinaJaya is a big player as the A-Boards were visible during the Thomas/Uber Cup Qualifiers at the Forum Macau.

Each of the 4 courts displayed the A Boards and Chong Wei when met after his singles match against Wong Wing Ki confirmed with this blogger that it was his company.

"It something for the future and a small start for me. We have a development project in Ampang and hopefully things work out well," said Chong Wei who did not want to dwell much on his private life.

"I am quite close with the Macau BA president and hence when they approached me for some sponsorship, I guess the time was right to expose my small time developer status.

"The business will not affect my focus towards the London Olympics and that remains my ultimate goal in life at the moment."


Malaysia got off to a winning start in the Thomas Cup Qualifiers in Macau when they defeated Hong Kong this morning. But it was far from convincing as they struggled to win 3-2, although by the time Liew Darren took to the courts Malaysia had an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The win gives them a place in the last eight and the only question left now is if the coaches will play Mohd Hafiz Hashim in the crucial tie against South Korea which will determine the top spot in Group C and ultimately an easier quarterfinal tie.

Hafiz was at sea against Hu Yun, a player whom he had lost to on two previous occasions, the last being in 2008. And it was all down to unforced errors and poor court judgement as Hafiz lost 20-22,18-21 in 42 minutes.

"Seriously I am upset with myself as it was a match that I should have won. I am not offering any excuses and the fact was that he was a better player today," said Hafiz.

"I was playing to his tempo and could have done with some guidance as my coach Hendrawan's presence would have helped me change my game plan.

"It is not an excuse but I guess having Hendrawan at the back of the court would have given me added confidence.

"I hope to bounce back from this setback and hope that the officials still have confidence in me to play against Korea tomorrow as that is a crucial tie."

Skipper Lee Chong Wei also did not have a good day on court as he somewhat struggled to subdue Wong Wing Ki 21-18,22-20 in 42 minutes.

"It is normal to have a slow start and it was kind of expected. More importantly was that we are off to a winning start and lets look forward to Korea tomorrow.

"Hafiz may have lost but lets not get overly concerned with that as we have registered a win and look towards upsetting the more fancied Koreans."

Top doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong had it easy as they swept aside the challenge of Lo Lok Kei/Leung Chun Yiu 21-9,21-14 in just 21 minutes.

And second doubles pair Lim Kim Wah/Goh V Shem gave Malaysia the winning point, easily disposing off the challenge posed by Wong Wai Hong/Lee Chun Hei 21-14,21-16 in 27 minutes.

It should have been an easy 4-1 win for Malaysia but Liew Darren playing as third singles lost to Chan Yan Kit 21-17, 16-21, 19-21.

Quotes from Rashid Sidek

"Although Hafiz lost, we may still field him against Korea as he is more steady then Darren and Ariff. As I said it was never going to be easy and we can expect a tougher time against Korea tomorrow. The doubles pair will have to contribute and at the same time the burden cannot be on Chong Wei alone."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wonders will never cease

Well things never seem to cahnge for the better in Badminton Association of Malaysia. Reading the New Straits Times today surely will endorse the fact that BAM are going senile.

Firstly they take more officials then coaches, leaving out singles coach Hendrawan but having two team managers and even the likes of Secretary Ng Chin Chai and HPT member Dato James Selvaraj on the flight to Macau.

Next they have a player, despite two team managers, forgetting his passport and thus missing the flight. Now that cost alone could have got Hendrawan to Macau.

And if BAM does not have the money, perhaps I should offer Hendrawan to fly to Macau with me and am more then willing to pay his cost.

What say you BAM?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Sometimes what happens with the Badminton Association of Malaysia is downright baffling as it seems there is no co-ordination in the national body, who has been under fire of late for their statement that Thomas Cup is not important.

And read below the statements of two key officials in BAM, one of whom holds a Vice President post at the Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC).

Guess from being called the Axiata Cup it can be called for Anxiety Cup for BAM.

This was what BAM said via The Star: ( Sunday 5th February)

Malaysia will wait for more details before confirming their participation in the new invitational badminton tournament – the Axiata Cup.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching and training chairman Ng Chin Chai said that they had no knowledge of the format or rules for the new competition, which is sanctioned by the Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC).

“Our general manager (Kenny Goh) was approached last year about this event but we do not have any details about it. I would rather wait for the rules and regulations before deciding on our team’s participation,” he said.
It is a novel idea, although the timing is questionable – coming at a time when the top players are busy trying to rake in ranking points for the Olympic Games in London.

And this is what was said today: ( picked from Bernama)

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Deputy President Datuk Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid said the country's elite players, including world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei, and players from clubs would take part in the competition.

"The format of the Axiata Cup is slightly different from other tournaments since teams can include one player from other countries like China or Denmark even though the tournament is restricted to ASEAN countries.

"This tournament provides an opportunity for players from clubs, especially players like Zulfadli Zulkifli, a chance to showcase their talent," Axiata Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim told reporters after launching the tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Ex ZIFA boss Rushwaya arrested

Police have arrested and detained former CEO of Zimbabwe Football Association, Ms Henrrietta Rushwaya for the match-fixing scandal popularly known as Asiagate.

Rushwaya was arrested Thursday by detectives from the Anti-Corruption Task Force and charged with corruption, bribery, and match-fixing, her lawyer Selby Hwacha said.

Rushwaya is fingered as the chief mastermind of a series of fixed matches played by Zimbabwe’s national team against Asian teams in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia between 2007 and 2008. 

Zimbabwe players were paid to lose matches in a betting syndicate worth millions directed by one Wilson Raj Perumal of Singapore who is currently serving jail sentence in Finland after being convicted of the offence.

Accused ... Henrietta Rushwaya

Rushwaya’s arrest comes just a day after ZIFA announced it has banned 80 players from playing for Zimbabwe following their participation in the controversial ASIAN TOURS and willingly accepting bribes to lose matches.

Announcing the decision to exclude the 80 players, ZIFA chief Executive Officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said, “We have taken the position that whoever is going to be called up for any national assignment should not be among those implicated in match-fixing.”

It is also believed that Zimbabwe may have failed to qualify for 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) due to the many individuals taking money to lose qualifying matches.(ZimEye, Zimbabwe)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


The man who brought the Thomas Cup to Malaysian shores after 25 years  Tan Sri Elyas Omar has called for the powers that be to punish all responsible should Malaysia fail to make it to the final rounds of the Thomas Cup.

Watch the video, an interview held before the Badminton Association of Malaysia High Performance Trio ( rather call them that) came up with a ready made excuse in event of failure in Macau two weeks from now in the qualification rounds.

With the exception of one paper, the others were rather subtle with the importance placed on Olympics, treating the Thomas Cup as a has been event.

And in the clip below Elyas talks about killing of club structure and why BAM should be inclusive rather then trying to be exclusive.

The lack of development as so far as badminton is concerned and the bribery scandal in Malaysian football are a few of the clips that will be uploaded soon.