Friday, March 30, 2012


It is with profound sadness that we report the demise of Raja Ashman Sultan Azlan Shah who passed away this morning.

Raja Ashman was a keen supporter for Malaysian hockey and knew the players by name. It was during halftime in the match between Ireland and Malaysia at the Dublin Olympic Qualifiers ( 17th March ) that he left the VIP seats and sat amongst the Malaysian media so that he could shout encouragement to the Malaysian players.

He was a down to earth royalty and will be deeply missed by all.

May god bless his soul.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


That seems to be the direction Malaysian Sports is heading these days as using petitions to get rid of administrators seems to be the "in thing" as far as some are concerned.

Though not agreeing with the notion and saying that it was a democratic process, Olympic Council of Malaysia President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar was left speechless when asked if he would look positively into a petition should one be presented to seek the removal of an OCM elected official.

" I will not go as far as calling it as mob mentality but look at it as a democratic way of seeking redress," said Imran when asked what his thoughts were about the attempt to remove NSI CEO Dato Dr.Ramlan Abd Aziz by some ISN officials via a petition to Sports Ministry Secretary General.

But having said that Imran was dumbstruck when asked if he would look at it in the same manner should a similar attempt be made to remove an OCM official.

After the formalities of going through the function at the Maxis sponsorship ceremony for the Olympic bound athletes, Imran made time to sit down and discuss matters further.

" Having said that I must clear the air that while it is a democratic process, those aggrieved should have gone through a proper process of highlighting the issues," conceded Imran.

" I am sure there were options open to them to bring up the grouses in a more transparent process and on the part of the Ministry to ensure that a proper investigation be conducted on the truth of such accusations.

" Thus it will be better if things are discussed internally and resolved and I believe that with various stages and options available, those who felt that Ramlan was not managing things well should have raised the matter in a more professional manner."

But while Imran went on to clarify his statement, news filtering out from Bukit Jalil was only confirming the mob mentality outlook as a new petition, said to have been initiated by a NSC official this time around, was being circulated to coaches whom were asked to support an allegation that they were not happy with the way things were being tinned in NSI.

" This puts the coaches in a difficult situation as they are dammed if they sign and dammed if they refuse to sign," was what OCM Secretary Dato Sieh Kok Chi had to say when asked on his views.

" Why get the coaches involved in something like this. It was only yesterday ( Tuesday ) that Nicol David paid tribute to NSI for having made her what she is."

And Kok Chi is right as the coaches have several opportunities to raise their concerns had they not been happy.

For there are two levels of joint committees, the Jawatankuasa Pengurusan and Jawatankuasa Kerja where the NSC, NSI and NSA meet and discuss the various programs concerning the athletes.

Note: Some have alleged that I have posted comments in another blog about this issue. Suffice to say that I do not state my opinion anywhere else and do not hide behind anonymous as most of these nameless persons do. My blog is for my opinion and from the onset I have not allowed comments and will not change my stand.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


It what can be deemed as a conspiracy to discredit National Sports Institute Director General Dato Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz, several officers from NSI have conspired to remove him as CEO.

Efforts to seek clarification from the Ministry of Youth & Sports Secretary General Dato Mohaid was met with complete silence despite three SMS sent to him. When told that this blog intended to run the story of Ramlan being replaced, and that Mohaid's silence was unbecoming of a senior government officer and that he had to respond to media queries once the story broke he curtly replied TQ.

It is believed that Mohaid had instructed a junior officer to inform Ramlan that he is to vacate his position as CEO on April 1, and it is no April Fools joke as Mohaid is said to have believed all the stories "cooked" up by these officials, numbering around 6 and headed by a senior officer who had resigned from NSI and took up a higher position elsewhere.

The irony of the whole situation is the cordial relationship these officials share with Mohaid, so much so the fact that he opted to act on the complaints and micro manage the NSI, an institution that was formed by an Act of Paliament.

To top it all, the NSI Board members too are unaware of this development and the Board is scheduled to hold its normal meeting on March 29.

It all boils down to back biting and complete ignorance of the regulations as the removal of the NSI CEO can only be done by the Minister of Youth & Sports as provided for in the NSI Act.

Ramlan has served without fear or favour for the past 22 years and meting out such treatment to a senior officer must surely be a result of a conspiracy of the highest order.

The charges, it is learnt, against Ramlan are that he has failed in managing NSI and the staff, and perhaps it has become necessary for the remaining staff of NSI to march along Putrajaya and head towards Mohaid's office so that he can see the true picture for himself.

If there are problems and issues, then they ought to be resolved within the organisation and it will be a first where a senior officer is removed due to the pressure from a group of personalities.

Any comments Minister who is said to be sidestepping the issue and boarded the plane to Myanmar? Or is there a bigger story to delegating Ramlan's removal to Mohaid?

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Malaysia recovered from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Russia 6-2 in their second match at the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin today.

It was a case of paying too much respect to the opponents as Malaysia caved in the opening 20 minutes ofbthe match but showed tremendous fighting spirit in a match where they scored four goals from the six penalty corners awarded.

And Mohd Amin Rahim scored a hattrick in a win that was crucial to ensure Malaysia stay on course for a ticket to London 2012.

Malaysia opted for high press in the opening minutes of the match and had the Russian defence back pedalling and thinking of ways to get out of the situation.

But Russia had the first look at goal though in the 10th minute as Aleksander Platonov broke through on the left and unleashed a shot that went inches wide of Roslan Jamaluddin's far post.

Malaysia were not playing half as well as they did inntheir opening match withTengkuAhmad Tajuddin and Izwan Firdaus looking off colour.

And it was a shaky performance by the defenders when Russia applied the pressure, using their upper body strength to put off the Malaysian defenders.

Just when Malaysia were getting into gear, the Russians struck but what a beauty of a goal it was as Pavel Golubev ghosted past three defenders on the right before sending in a reverse stick hit that sailed high into the goal givingb Roslan no chance at all.

And it was more heartache for Malaysia as Golubrev struck again two minutes later after being put through and slamming it in from 7 meters out.

Malaysia then forced a penalty corner in the 26th minute but Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim's shoat was parried away by Russian custodian Roman Rogov.

However Mohd Amin Rahim reduced the deficit to 2-1 when he found the mark off Malaysian second penalty corner in the 28th minute.

At halftime the Russians were ahead 2-1 but Malaysia looked hopeful, still optimistic of winning.

All it took was two minutes into the second half for Malaysia to draw level as Amin converted a penalty corner in the 37th minute.

Malaysia then seized the initiative as Russia were pressed deep in defence and were duly rewarded for their efforts in the 45th minute through Faisal Saari, also via a penalty corner.

Moving with confidence, Malaysiathen extended their lead in the52nd minute, this time Razie converting a penalty corner.

Two minutes later Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was felled in the semi circle and umpire Gary Simmonds from South Africa awarded a penalty stroke that Amin duly converted to complete his hattrick and extend Malaysia's lead to 5-2.

Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored in the 65th minute to complete a rousing fightback for Malaysia who will take on Ukraine next on Tuesday.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Unknown to many Goh Liu Ying played through the pain barrier as she partnered Chan Peng Soon to create history for Malaysia in the quarterfinal win of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena.

Virtually unable to move, Goh underwent treatment for her back this morning under the supervision of the officials from the National Sports Institute.

And despite a sore back, Goh/Pang went on to defeat the English/Scotland pairing of Chris Addock/Imogen Bankier 21-16, 15-21, 21-17 and have qualified for the semi finals of a major event in world badminton.

This augurs well for their Olympic preparation and come what may in the semis, credit should be given to the duo, especially Chan who underwent a family tragedy and overcame it with starength.


Lin Dan showed why he still is considered as the best badminton player as he sent the legendary Taufik Hidayat crashing out of the All England Championships at the quarterfinal stage.

Such was his domination that he led 9-0 in the second stage, winning points at his fancy as he sent Taufik scurrying all over the court.

But after the match, in one of his rare interviews Lin Dan paid tribute to Taufik, saying that when the Indonesian retires it will be a big loss to badminton. ( see end video for translation)

On the other hand Taufik said that he was happy the youngsters of Indonesia, Simon, Rumbaka, Tommy are making progress and hoped that PBSI will not ask him to play in the Thomas Cup this May as it will be his seventh.


 The fairytale run of Liew Darren came to an abrupt end at the quarterfinal stage of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

The 25 year old could not match the sheer speed and precision of Korea's Lee Hyun Il, going down 21-15,21-13.

Nonetheless Darren has created history as this is the first time he has made it to the last eight state ogf a Super and Premier Series event.

Friday, March 09, 2012


All it took was one chat with Lee Chong wei and an arrangement was done for the media at the All England Championships to have 20 minutes of his time at the Media Centre at the National Indoor Arena.

Having spoken to the Media Officer of the All England Championships, William King, this blogger made the arrangement with Chong Wei's, whose only condition was that I had to be there and act as the interpreter for the session.

And at 645pm today, Chong Wei kept his date with the members of the media, fielding all the questions and providing the answers that ensured there were many happy faces.

Amongst the matters that Chong Wei spoke about were as follows:

- that he will retire at the end of the 2013 season as he had sponsorship obligations and that he wanted to try one last time to win the World Championships.

- that he will take a complete break from badminton for a period of two years to concentrate on business before he thinks about coaching.

- that the Olympics are his number one priority and playing in the All England was important as he wants a third consecutive title.

So please view the interview as attached.

And to the journalist from The Star ( the young one still wet behind the ears ), it was I who arranged this session and not your BAM as you stated in the Facebook as not to be blamed. Perhaps its your butt licking skills that you need to work on.


The infamous GAVIN SMITH from England shows Koo the red card

Though the match between Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong against Hong Eei/Shen Ye was played at night, it was daylight robbery as so far as the Malaysian doubles pair were concerned as they exited the doubles competition at the All England Championships.

The sixth seeded Malaysians were sent packing, going down 21-12, 17-21, 20-22 in a match that lasted 59 minutes.

The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow as the Malaysian pair were shown a red card by the chair umpire, when the score was 20-20.

And that meant that the Chinese pair were not only awarded the serve but also a point and led 21-20. That shattered the Malaysians and they conceded the point and match and were visibly upset after the match, with Koo opting not to speak to the media, leaving it all to Tan to handle.

However putting aside the incident, the Malaysian pair had only themselves to blame as they led 19-16 in the decider but made several uncharacteristic mistakes.


From debutant to quarterfinalist. And when Liew Darren goes to bed tonight he will be dreaming of taking it to another step, making the semifinals of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

But standing in his way will be  a Korean, Lee Hyun Il to be precise but Darren is taking all the challenges into his stride.

Having sent home favourite Rajiv Ouseph packing to make the quarters, Darren was spot on when he said that he had nothing to lose but everything to gain.

And one must look back into history books to find out when was the last time that Malaysia had two singles quarterfinalists in the All England.

Saying in jest that his biggest motivation was the media, for all the brickbats he has received, Dareen said that getting tips from his sifu Lee Chong Wei helped him progress.

Being single and available as Dareen put it, the youngster will sure relish his chance against the Korean whom he had beaten before.

The nation awaits Darren, he has done well but its one little step that we are now looking for.


It was not a vintage performance from World number one Lee Chong Wei, but nonethless he did enough to ease through to the quarterfinals stage of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Chong Wei however paid tribute to his opponent Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark after registering a 23-21, 21-18 win.

The defending champion trailed for the entire first set and only took the lead at 18-17 and Vittinghus held set point twice but failed to finish it off as Chong Wei closed it at the first time of asking.

And in the second Chong Wei led 18-15 but allowed the Dane to draw level at 18 all before pulling away.

"It was a good match as my opponent had nothing to lose and gave it his all. In fact he caught me several times with his shots. And I really must give him credit for putting up a fight as it helps me towards preparing for the quarterfinals," said Chong Wei.


Goh Liu Ying certainly made the Malaysian journalists at the All England Championships burst into laughter after saying " Saya mau jaga depan saja" ( looking after the front only) at the post match press conference.

Goh and her partner Chan Peng Soon created history as they defeated Japan's Shoji Sato/Shizuka Matsuo and will play in the last eight for the first time. In fact making it past the first round was history for the pair who have not gone beyond the opening round in previous participations.

She made the remark at the end of the press interview ( watch video) when asked what was their tactics going to be in the quarterfinal scheduled for tomorrow.

Putting that aside, the 21-18,21-9 win puts Chan/Goh in a good position to move into the last four and going hy their performances thus far it is not something that is beyond them

Thursday, March 08, 2012


The NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong makes statements that never seems to amaze sports lovers.

Just look at his statement below with regards to Hafiz Hashim.

NSC and BAM have never paid for his training and participation in tournaments so really you have no business making such statement. If it was Nusa Mahsuri, then NSC will help them right from the scratch.

And it is amazing one can deduce the performance from watch on the idiot box.

So Zol, I suggest in future you think before making such statements. Hafiz, Zulfadli, Zakry and Fairuz need help but only KLRC helps them right now. So do something about these players if you really care rather then sit and condemn players.

And yes look forward to your visit to Dublin. Nothing personal on this but really if you care about players, please check why Zulfadli yet to receive NSC incentives for his wins.

Read the Bernama story and make your own conclusion about his REAL intention.

National Sports Council (NSC) Director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong deemed Hafiz Hashim's loss in the second round of the All England qualifying round as unacceptable.

Zolkples said Hafiz's among the country's leading players on whose shoulder rests the Badminton Association of Malaysia's (BAM) hopes during the Thomas Cup final in Wuhan, China from May 20-27.

The former All England champion (2003) and the country's second ranked player lost to Taiwan's unknown shuttler Chou Tien Chin, 21-11, 15-21, 12-21.

I watched Hafiz's match on TV and was shocked to see his shoddy performance," he told reporters here Thursday.

Zolkples said he had earlier suggested to the BAM to give talented youngsters like Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Zulfadli Zulkifli a chance to play in international tournaments like the All England to gain exposure.


He is the undisputed number one of the world badminton scene. But Lee Chong Wei's eyes show hunger for he is hell bent in trying to capture the All England title for the third consecutive time.

Speaking to him after his first round match at the National Indoor Arena, one could not help but notice the desire to achieve the feat, for he is aiming to gain much psychological advantage over his opponents.

The manner in which he disposed off the young pretender from China, Wang Zhengming 21-16,21-11 showed why Chong Wei oozes class for he was virtually toyed with his opponent, trying some fancy shots, yet he was at ease with his game.

Chong Wei paid tribute to his opponent and also gave credit to Liew Darren who moved into the second round, saying the the Malaysian youngster had shown the desire to do well and that was important in order to achieve success.

Chong Wei will take on Denmark's Han Vittinghus in the second round and is wary of his opponent who ousted Indonesia's Simon Santoso.


Their opponents may not be in the same league as them. But still one cannot but help feel optimistic about the chances of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong at the All England Championship at the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham.

Koo/Tan defeat Japan's Naoki Kawamae/Shoji Sato 21-11, 21-18 to book their place in the second round where they will most likely play against the newly crowned German Open champions Hong Wei/Shen Ye who are expected to get past Poland's Adam Cwaina/Michal Logosz.

There was more focus on the court by Koo/Tan, and the manner in which they played in the first set was simply fantastic. But it was the second set that will probably cause some raised eyebrows for coach Tan Kim Her as the duo were guilty of making elementary mistakes and survived largely due to the fact that the Japanese pair made more mistakes.


A trio of British badminton stars have ended up in a love triangle with a difference after 23-year-old Chris Adcock ditched his girlfriend in search of Olympic glory.

Wait a second, though: Adcock has not pulled the plug on his relationship with 21-year-old Gabby 
White, but has stopped playing mixed doubles with her in order to play alongside her 24-year-old arch-rival Imogen Bankier.

Adcock and Bankier are now hot favourites to grab Britain's Olympic qualification spot, while White will have to do with watching the Games on TV.

And the situation sparked a Twitter spat between the two women.

Glaswegian Bankier kicked things off by blasting English players following their national championships, saying in a Tweet that they "couldn't serve".

White hit back, calling her "sour" for making the comment, while English pal and team-mate Jenny Wallwork also weighed in calling Bankier a "cripple" and telling her to "jog on back to Scotland.

All the players have now apologised for the row - Wallwork called it "friendly banter that got out of hand" - but sources in the badminton world say that the bitterness is for real.

"Gabby is obviously devastated that she's not doing as well as Imogen," an 'insider' told the Daily Mail.

"Imogen has just got that little bit more experience than Gabby at the top level," the source added, explaining that it was Badminton England who told Chris to switch partners.

"Chris and Imogen have just gone from strength to strength together since then, whereas Gabby and her new partner have had some not-so-great results. Unfortunately it now looks like Gabby is out of the running for London 2012."

Adcock, very wisely, has yet to make any comment, though his mum did confirm to the paper that Adcock and White are still an item off the court, if nowhere else.


Liew Darren may have just shrugged it off when asked how he felt with all the controversies back home with regards to his inclusion and Mohd Ariff Latif's exclusion from tournaments in Europe.

But deep down inside Darren must feel some form of satisfaction now that he has silenced his critics by making the second round of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Darren defeated Boonsak Polsana 21-19, 23-21 and will most likely take on Peter Gade in the second round. For the record Darren lost both times he last played Peter.

Still making it to the second round, after playing the qualifiers was morethen what he could have asked for.


Having safely negotiated their way past the Indian pair of V. Diju/Jwala Gutta, the Malaysian mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying are relishing the chance of progressing into the last eight of the All England Championships.

The duo were surprised at the lack of opposition from the Indian duo, and are now three wins a piece in the six meetings.

Tomorrow they take on a Japanese pair that they defeated at the French Open last year and Peng Soon said they were confident of progressing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Not many gave them a chance to make it to the main draw. But not only have Mohd Zakry Latif/Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari made it through the qualifiers, they have gone past the first round of the main draw at the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham.

This is the first time that the duo made it past their first round in a Premier/Super series event after they had renewed their partnership, playing under the KLRC banner having left BAM last September.

And they did it with style as they ousted Germany's Michael Fuchs/Oliver Roth 21-19,21-11. The German pair are ranked 24 in the world while the Malaysians are a distant 97th.


Despite picking up an injury, due to the hard practice court conditions, Woon Khe Wei plodded on in the women's doubles competition at the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham.

However despite their best efforts, Khe Wei and her partner could not prevent Hong Kong's Poon Lok Yan/Tse Ying Suet from progressing into the second round, going down 21-16, 19-21,18-21 in a match where they could have won had it not been for the injury.

Thus all the women's doubles pairs from BAM have lost with the fate of the Ng sisters to be decided when most of Malaysia will be in slumberrland.


Minutes after their opening round defeat at the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, women's doubles pair of Goh Liu Ying/Lim Yin Loo cited lack of exposure in playing against European opponents as one of the major factors as to why they are not improving.

The duo lost 16-21, 16-21 to Denmark;s Christina Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Julz and their lack of confidence showed when they led 12-10 but only to give away six consecutive points when their opponents changed their serve.

Still its time for BAM to look into their grouses as playing in Asia really does not help the cause for women's badminton.


The Badminton World Federation and the organisors of the All England Championships are in a bind and its all has to do with Lee Chong Wei.

The World number one has refused interviews leading up to the championships and it was the focal point of discussions  between some jounalists, BWF media officer and the All England officials.

Even RTM who wanted to interview Chong Wei were not successful as the defending champion did not answer calls. And there was no luck either going through the BAM General Manager Kenny Goh.

In reality though these people have only themselves to blame as Chong Wei is easy to interview, if done the proper way.

The fact of the matter is the All England and BWF need to e more tactful in trying to handle the manner in which approaches are done towards interview requests. Chong Wei is not an easy person to deal with but neither is he evasive nor is he someone who will not talk to the press.

So the hive of activity continues, with some really upset not getting to talk to Chong Wei.

But from the BAM perspective, this is something they need to address and manage properly as BAM has no Media Officer and also no regular content providing to their own website to keep fans updated.


Soldiering on despite losing a loved one is a difficult thing to do. What alone when the person that paasses away is someone who made you what you are today.

Thus it was a major effort for Chin Eei Hui who played in the German Open and All England Championships after losing her dad a week ago.

Eei Hui and her partner Wong Pei Tty lost in the opening round at the All England and she realises her hopes and aspirations of playing at the London Olympics is fast slipping away.

But the fighter Eei Hui is, she is not giving up without a fight and looks forward to the four tournaments to rake in as much points as she and her partner can to keep the hopes alive.

For the record the duo lost to China's Tian Qinhg/Zhao Yunley, who are the tournaments second seeds, 17-21,14-21, a much better performance then their defeat at the Uber Cup last month.


Below is the schedule for matches involving Malaysian players at the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena Birmingham for Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

All times stated are UK times ( Malaysia is eight hours ahead)

1035H - Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty v Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (China)

1110H - Goh Liu Ying/Lim Yin Loo v Christina Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark)

1125H - Vivian Hoo Kah Mun/Woon Khe Wei v Poon Lok Yan/Tse Ying Suet ( Hong Kong)

1200H - Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari/Mohd Zakry Latiff v Michael Fuchs/Oliver Roth (Germany)

1345H - Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying v V. Diju/Jwala Gutta (India)

1455H - Ong Jian Guo/Lim Yin Loo v Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)

1515H - Darren Liew v Boonsak Polsana (Thailand)

1640H - Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong v Naoki Kawamae/Shoji Sato (Japan)

1750H - Goh V Shem/Teo Kok Siang v Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae (Korea)

1810H - Lee Chong Wei v Wang Zhengming (China)

2010H - Chong Wei Fend v Pablo Abian (Spain)

2120H - Ng Hui Ern/Ng Hui Lin v Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)

Media friends can visit this blog from time to time to catch the latest video interviews as well as get quotes from the players. It is however hoped that in the interest of ethics, please quote the source of your stories.


After Liew Darren had made it to the main draw, the expectations were high that KLRC's Muhammad Hafiz Hashim will join the youngster.

And after the easy first set win 21-11, few would bet against Hafiz making it into the main draw of the All England, a tournament where Hafiz made his mark by winning the singles crown in 2003.

But the fire was missing, doused by his lethargic approach, lack of enthusiasm and above all playing like a novice against Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen, a player who only made it into the qualifiers after another Malaysian Mohd Arif Latif withdrew.

However it was just another illusion from Hafiz as he crumbled in the next two, playing like a novice, lacking any clue on how to defeat an opponent, and above everything else displaying traits of a player who had no interest in being at this  event.

While Hafiz was a letdown, Chong Wei Feng who accounted for the second qualifying seed Hsu Jen Hao played splendidly to oust India's RMV Gurusaidutt 21-16, 20-22, 21-8 and joins Liew Darren in the main draw.

Wei Fung will take on Pablo Ablan of Spain, a match in which he will surely fancy his chances before a prized meeting against the mighty Lin Dan of China should he make it to the second round.

In a nutshell Hafiz was the only casualty in the mens singles qualification, and he has only himself to blame for the sorry exit.

In the men's doubles, Mak Hee Chun/Tan Wee Kiong withdrew midway in their match against the Danish pairing of Rasmus Bonde/Anders Kristiansen.

KLRC's Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari/Mohd Zakry Latiff however created an upset as they ousted the fourth  seeds, winning 21-15, 21-17.

They will now take on Germany's Michael Fuchs/Oliver Roth in the first round scheduled for Wednesday.

In an all Malaysian encounter, Goh V Shem/Teo Kok Siang got the better of KLRC's Gan Tek Chai/Tan Bin Shen 19-21, 21-13, 22-20.

And they will face tournament second seeds Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae in the opening round tomorrow.

At the end of the qualifiers, Malaysia who had 


Having made the main draw displaying tremendous character and fighting spirit, Liew Darren is looking at getting past Bonsak Polsana in the first round match at the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

He defeated Chinese Taipei's Hsueh Hsuan Yi 21-19, 19-21, 21-19, his second win in two months over the same opponent, the last being at the qualification rounds of the Malaysian Open in January.

Citing his ability to fight as well as an improved fitness level, Darren hit the nail on the head when he said that he was not one to waste time and money by not giving his all on the court. And hopefully that spirit will prevail as Bonsak in returning from injury and Darren could well move into the second round.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Tee Jing Yi gave it her best shot, but it was still not good enough for the youngster to move into the second round of the qualifiers for the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena at Birmingham this afternoon.

Jing Yi lost to Indonesia's Adrianti Firdasari in a match that she really could have won had she been more composed and tactically aware of the needs to finish off an opponent especially when holding the advantage. Jing Yi lost 19-21, 21-15,19-2.

In the end, the pressure got to the Malaysian number one and she was the first to admit that getting into the Olympics was fast becoming a distant dream. Still she is optimistic of gaining points at Vietnam and Australia and feels that with players on par with her playing at those events, she stands a better chance.


Former All England champion Muhd Hafiz Hashim cleared his first hurdle in the qualifying rounds of the All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham this morning.

Hafiz, who won the All England in 2003, defeated Chan Yan Kit 21-11,21-15 and will now take on the winner of the match between Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. They will play at 11.45am UK time.

Marcus Ellis & Heather Olver (England) bt Tan Aik Quan & Lai Pei Jing  (Malaysia) 22-20, 21-23, 21-14

Duration – 55 minutes

Marcus – “Really happy, this is the biggest tournament of the calendar year for us and it’s nice to get back to winning ways because a few months ago we were struggling for form. A really promising performance that and if we play like that we have a chance against anyone who’s playing here.”

Heather – “This is our first All England together, just making it through to the main is quite a big achievement. All the best players in the world are here so obviously we want to get through so we can keep playing these players, getting that good experience.

After just missing out on winning the second set: Heather – “They had the momentum in their favour and that showed at the beginning of the third set where we went five-love down. I’m not too sure how we managed to get it back and win quite comfortably at the end but I’m really pleased.

Marcus – “It’s a confidence knock when you’ve had a really close game which you probably should have won and then to come out again and try and win the next game is always tough. But we managed to pull it back and in the end we ended up dominating the set.”

Saturday, March 03, 2012


Chinese Taipei pair Chang Kai-Chen and Chuang Chia-Jung will make their second WTA final appearance at the BMW Malaysian Open at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort after defeating top seeds Casey Dellacqua and Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia in the semis.
The Australians were no match for the Kai-Chen/Chia-Jung on a day that started with the sun blazing in stark contrast to gloomy weather and rain in the past few days that affected the scheduling.
 The Chinese Taipei pair ran out easy winners with an easy 6-4, 6-0 scoreline in just under an hour.
“We did not expect to be in the final as this is only our fourth tournament playing together,” said Kai-Chen.
“It’s always good to win regardless of who we play but it’s always a great feeling to win against the top seeds. But we were not really thinking about it during the match. We just wanted to play our best tennis and get into the final,” she added.
Commenting on how some Asian players have done well, Kai-Chen said “Maybe its because many here are unable to adjust to the heat. It’s the same for us as its winter back home but are used to the heat and that really helps us playing here.”
 The pair are unseeded at the BMW Malaysian Open and off the duo, Chia-Jung is a more accomplished doubles player having won 17 WTA doubles titles and attained a doubles ranking of 63 in the world.
Meanwhile Kai-Chen has only won one WTA title and is number 214 in the world doubles ranking. The first time the pair played together was at Pattaya in 2009, but they failed to progress past the first round.
However the following year in 2010, they paired up for only the second time in their career and went on to win a ‘home’ title in Chinese Taipei. They had also paired each other in Birmingham last year but only made it to the second round.
The pair will now await the identity of their final opponents. Chan Hao-Ching of Chinese Taipei and Rika Fujiwara of Japan will go against Czech Republic twins Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova later today.
“It doesn’t really matter who we play. It is beyond our control so there is no point in hoping who’d we play,” said Kai-Chen
The first set was pretty equal as both pairs matched each other stroke for stroke, but the Chinese Taipei pair were more efficient in front of the net when it mattered most to win crucial points.
The Australians chased the game in the second set and took more risks but that only allowed Kai-Chen and Hao-Ching to gain advantage from a more open game, which they exploited to the maximium and gave the pair from down under no chance whatsoever.


Cardiff City FC has reported a £12m loss for the year ending May 31, 2011.

The loss is detailed in the accounts of the club’s holding company, Cardiff City Football Club (Holdings) Limited.

The accounts cover the 2010/11 season, when Dave Jones led the Bluebirds to the brink of Premier League promotion.

But the season ended in disappointment when Cardiff City lost to Reading in the playoffs.

The £12m loss followed a £900,000 loss in the 2009/10 season, the accounts show.

The biggest change being profit on disposal of fixed assets, which dropped from £11.4m in 2009/10 to £460,000 in 20010/11.

This related principally to the sale of Ninian Park in September 2009, together with the sale of the neighbouring hotel and House of Sports sites.

The accounts also showed the club’s turnover dropped from £16.9m in 2009/10 to £15.9m in 2010/11.

In the directors’ report, club chief executive Alan Whitely said while the dream of reaching the Premiership wasn’t realised, increased sales in season tickets, ticketing, hospitality, commercial and retail revenues were achieved.

Mr Whitely writes: “The club continues to face the challenging financial environment presented by the Championship competition, as illustrated by the comparable operating loss year-on-year, despite significant reductions in back-office costs – these gains being absorbed by increased direct football costs, whilst the club did not have the benefit of the one-off profits from asset disposals available in the year to May 2010 to bolster its final result for the financial year.”

Mr Whitely said the club received “substantial” new investment, principally from Malaysian businessmen in May 2010, together with the restructuring of a number of new major creditors.

“Following this the club was able to commence settlement of a number of its longstanding debts including its historic tax liability,” he writes.

“The new investment has stabilised the club’s position, allowing the club to work towards the delivery of a coherent and sustainable business strategy, as formulated by the new board and its management team.”

Looking to the future, Mr Whitely adds: “In addition whilst their funding is not guaranteed, the new investors have indicated that providing the business develops as planned, they will continue to support the club in the foreseeable future and provide additional finance in order that it can settle its liabilities.”

Friday, March 02, 2012


Accountability to sponsors and fulfilling the key performance index is something that national sports associations should set as priority in order to achieve success.

In outlining this, Tun Ahmad Sarji, who is the Chairman of Professional Golf Malaysia as well as Chef De Mission of the Malaysian Contingent to the 2012 London Olympics also said that being hands on was a vital ingredient for sports leaders.

"Many a time we see Presidents of NSA's being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, in the centre of limelight for matters that are not beneficial for sports," he said during the PGM CCM Impiana Masters press conference at the Menara PGM.

"We need to have personalities who serve sports not for self interest.

" I have made this very clear in PGM and will not hesitate to sack any of my officers should there be an abuse of sponsorship money.

" One has to understand that we are guardians of the money and will have to carry out programs as laid out when we entice the sponsors to support our events.

More later....

Thursday, March 01, 2012


Jelena Jankovic was in devastating form and Jill Crabas of United States felt her full wrath as she hammered her opponent into submission and in the process book a place in the last eight of the BMW Malaysian Open at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.

Unlike her first round match where she was stretched to three sets by rising star Caroline Garcia of France, Jankovic brushed her opponent 6-2, 6-0.

“I never expected the match to be that easy. I did what I do for every match. I went onto the court totally focussed and played an aggressively ,” said the 27-year-old who is the second seed.

“Jill played well and was very solid. So iI had to play hard. The match was not as easy as it looked. It is never easy playing in these conditions too. I am soaked – looks as if I went swimming instead of playing tennis.”

However, despite the constant rain Jankovic has no qualms with it as she spends the hours , as she describes “sits around to eat” and “chat here and there”.
Jankovic started the first set in style, breaking serve in two of Craybas’ serves and was 4-0 up. It was then that Craybas started giving the Serb a fight, holding serves. The set ended 6-2.

The second set finished in a flash with Jankovic showing her older opponent no mercy as she romped to a 6-0 win in style to set up a quarterfinal tie with Ayumi Morita of Japan who defeated compatriot Misaki Doi in the second round today.

“I played her last year in the Fed Cup. She is 2-handed on both sides and that makes the balls flat.”

Jankovic insists that she is here to win the tournament like how she is for every other tournament.

Last week she was defeated by top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the semifinal of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Does she want to set up a repeat of that match in Kuala Lumpur?

“It doesn’t really matter who I play. Yes it was a tough match last time. If we do meet, it will be an exciting match – it will be good for the crowd here and the tournament as well,” she added.