Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Pressure, lack of confidence and rustiness were attributed by Lee Chong Wei in his hard fought three set win over Ville Lang in the opening match of the men's singles competition of the Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena tonight.

Chong Wei triumped at the end 21-8, 14-21, 21-11, but not before spending 47 minutes on the court after having to spend 80 minutes waiting for the match to get underway.

"I am under pressure and that is not something that I can control. It was a poor performance and I admit that I could not play my normal game at all," conceded Chong Wei.

"Never once did it cross my mind that I will lose this match but it was a good workout for me and I need to iron out certain aspects of my game."

The first set was a brewze for Chong Wei as he reeled off seven consecutive points from a 14-8 lead to finish off his opponent.

But it was in the second that his game went to tatters, from sending his smashes out to being outclassed by the Finnish player at the net.

Lang took the lead for the first time at 3-2, and from then on it was point for point until 7-7. But four unforced errors gave Lang a 11-7 advantage and he was gaining in confidence.

There was no looking back as Lang led 18-11 at one stage before wrapping up the second 21-14, and the Malaysian fans in the stands were stunned.

When the third set commenced, one could see the nervourness on the facial expression of Chong Wei, and Lang knew his opponent was in  fragile mood.

Once again it was neck to neck until Chong Wei took the decisive point to lead 11-10 at the break. He then conceded one point before reeling off 10 points in a row to move into the second round where he plauys Simon Santoso of Indonesia.

"I last played him in December in the Super Series Finals but seven months is a long time. As I said past meetings count for nothing," said Chong Wei.


Olympic Council of Malaysia Hon. Secretary Dato Sieh Kok Chi was a victim of a pick pocket at the London Olympics.

He lost his wallet to a pick pocket at the Hyde Park Corner two days ago.

"I was in Hyde Park and did not feel anything. And the next time I wanted to use my wallet I found it missing," said Kok Chi when met at his hotel.

"There was not much cash in there but I lost my credit cards and other documents and it is really a hassle more then a finacial loss.

"I hope that all Malaysians, be it athletes, officials or fans will be more careful with their belongings when walking around."


It is a unique situation, brought about by the format introduced by the World Badminton Federation. 

For Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and their opponents tomorrow (Tuesday) Chung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae of Korea are in a position to pick their potential opponents in the quarterfinals of the men's doubles competition of the Olympic Games.

The two pairs have both registered two wins each and are placed in Group D. They will play against the champions and runners-up of Group B.

Matches in Group B have been completed and the 4th seeds, Ko Sung Hyun/Yoo Yeon Seong were sent packing, after defeats at the hands Isara Bodin/Jongjit Maneepong of Thailand and Mohammad Ashan/ Bona Septano of Indonesia.

Thus the Thai pair, having beaten the Indonesians have topped their group and will play the runner-up of Group B, the loser of the Koo/Tan - Chung/Lee match.

"It makes no difference as to who we play as ultimately one has to defeat every opponent if we harbour hopes of winning the gold medal," said Koo.

"We will just go out there without taking this into consideration and I am sure the Koreans too would not want to lose just avoid the Thai pair.

"It is indeed a unique position, but I do not think we should look much into this at the moment as all we want to do is maintain our form and focus."

Indeed it will be unique for both pairs could opt not to play to win, as they might want to play the Thai's instead of the Indonesians.

Let's wait and see what happens, for one of them could event feint injury and retire from the match.


It what appears to be the biggest upset of the men's singles competition at the Olympics, Kenichi Tago of Japan was sent packing by Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne 21-18,21-16 in just 46 minutes.

It is a sensational upset given that the Japanese was seeded eight for the singles competition and was expected to meet Lee Chong Wei in the last eight.

Tago, who was a Malaysian Open finalist in january had no answer to a sterling display by a player ranked 39 places below him.

"I just do not know what happened. I am perfectly okay mentally and physically. I am sorry for my family and supporters and need to sort things out in my head," admitted Tago.

For Karunaratne who was the Sri Lankan flag bearer at the opening ceremony, the win was a pleasant surprise.

"The crowd was fantastic and kept urging me on. It is really great to win the match and I just kept attacking as my opponent was under pressure to win while I had nothing to lose," said Karunaratne who could end up playing Chong Wei if he gets past either Kashyap Parupalli of India or Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam.

Monday, July 30, 2012


The time has come as the Olympics have officially got underway with the spectecular and eye catching opening ceremony on Friday night.
I watched the opening ceremony in my hotel room and this was the third opening ceremony of the Olympics that I failed to participate and I was sad when watching it over TV as this will be my last Olympics.
Much effort has been put in by the organisors to create an event that captures the culture of the British and it was amazing scenes that I believe were truly appreciated by the audience worldwide.
Though we are not staying at the Games Village, the organisors have made provisions for teams to stay at a hotel within walking distance of the Wembley Arena, the venue for the badminton event.
It was delightful to see so many fans making their way to the stadium on Saturday, the first day of the badminton event. They were patient although there was a long wait due to the stringent security checks that they had to undergo.
For us as players, it is always refreshing playing infront of appreciative fans and also full stadiums and from what I seen so far, the fans are making a beeline towards Wembley Arena to watch badminton being contested.
Coming back to my preparations, I have done the best I can under the circumstances.
Returning from an injury is tough for any athlete and it was no different for me as there are loads of factors that need to be taken into account when in rehabilitation.
I have been fortunate that I have had fantastic people looking after my recovery process, right from the doctors, conditioning exterts, physiotherapists and massuers from the National Sports Institute. They have been wonderful and put up with a lot to ensure that I was fit enough and challenge for gold at the Olympics.
My coaches, Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek have been preparing me well, keeping me on my toes on the courts and ensuring that I remained focussed.
They have been spending hours analysing videos of my potential opponents and Rashid, despite fasting, has been working really hard to watch the opponents play at the Wembley Arena.
Some have claimed that I am under pressure to deliver. They are entitled to their opinion as I know my ability and promise the nation that I will use every ounce of energy to ensure that the hopes and aspirations of Malaysia are met on August 5, the day of the final.
As I have constantly said, I am taking it one day at a time but that will not stop me from looking towards August 5. The incentives are there and the RM2 million gold bar was a welcome surprise.
I know the passion KLRC Chairman Dato Seri Andrew Kam has for badminton and it’s a timely boost for the badminton players to deliver at the Olympics.
Chang Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying as well as Tee Jing Yi may not have had a winning start they were looking for but they played well and could have won. They still have a chance and I expect them to give it their best shot in the remaining matches.
As for Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong, there is hunger in their eyes, something not seen of late and they will make the last eight with relative ease following their workmanlike performances against the Japanese pair.
I sign off today, looking forward to my first competetive match on Monday.  Stepping on to the courts will signal my return from injury and the start of my quest for gold.
The prayers of 28 million Malaysians will be my driving force, with my mother rooting for me in the stands of the Wembley Arena.
Lee Chong Wei.


The Olympic hopes of mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying evaporated into thin air when the succumbed to a second consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of the number two seeds Xu Chen/Ma Jin at the Wembley Arena tonight.

It was poor performance as the Malaysians looked nervous and hardly played their normal game, succumbing to a 21-14, 21-8 defeat.

Despite the fact that the Malaysians had beaten this Chinese pair in their only previous meeting, Chan/Goh failed to get their act together.

The Chinese pair raced to a 7-3 lead and despite a fight back by Chan/Goh to reduce the deficit to 12-15, they made far too many mistakes to hand the advantage to the Chinese pair.

And try as they did to get their act together, the Chinese were too good as they took the first set 21-14.

It was the same story in the second as the Chinese pair raced to a 5-1 lead, courtesy of errors from Chan and Goh.

It was 11-3 advantage for China at the break and they never looked back as they took the second 21-8 to send the Malaysian pair out of the medal rounds.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are through to the quarterfinals of the mens doubles competition of the Olympic Games.

They defeated Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan of the United States of America 21-12, 21-14 to confirm their berth in the last eight with a workmanlike performance at the Wembley Arena.

They will take on world number 2 pair Chung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae on Tuesday to determine who takes the top spot in their group, a get a potentially easier path into the semis.

"We played to our potential and hus it was a rather easy day on the court. We are our worst opponents and once we get going, there is no stopping us," said Koo.

"Our plan was simple, keep the pressure on them and not let them into the game. That worked well as we exploited their defence with power play.

"Now we will be up against the Koreans and the key factor is to ensure we keep our momentum going."

It was an explosive start as the Malaysian pair raced to a 9-0 lead before conceding the first point. They upped the tempo from the begining and gave the USA pair no chance to settle down with their fast and aggresive display.

At the break the Malaysians held a 11-3 break and id not let up their aggression to move to a 17-9 lead before wrapping up the first set 21-12 in just 11 minutes on the court.

The second was no different from the first as Koo/Tan were 6-2 ahead and played some delightful shots, catching their opponents off guard with trick shots.

A leaping smash by Tan from the baseline gave Malaysia a 11-4 lead, once again achieved in just four minutes and they were in cruise mode.

But Tony/Gunawan were not giving up without a fight and picked up four straight points to reduce the deficit to 7-11.

Koo/Tan realised the danger of allowing their opponents back into the game and upped the tempo, with speed and power their key ingredient to collect points. 

And they wrapped up the second 21-14 with another sterling display.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


They are often criticised for their performances on the court and antics off the court. But on the courts of the Wembley Arena this afternoon, Koo Kien Keat and tan boon heong showed glimpses of their past as they defeated Japan's Naoki Kawamae/Shoji Sato 21-12,21-15.

And the win has given the pair the confidence to seal their place in the last eight of the Olympics, a feat they can achieve if they defeat Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan of USA tomorrow (Sunday).

Their performance was a delight to watch as Koo controlled the net effectively, killing off the shuttle when given half a chance, agile on his feet and above all totally focussed at the task at hand.

"When I arrived in Bath, I was also skeptical of my fitness but these two weeks have changed things and now I feel lighter on the court," said Koo.

"This is a good start and I am happy with the performance, though I must say there are many areas we need to work on.

"Still it is a good start to our quest to make it into the last eight."

The duo hardly gave any chance to their opponents, peppering them with an attacking play that has been long missing.

Tan was willing to smash more and that largely contributed to them winning points as the Japanese pair did not know what hit them.

Although they have beaten the USA pairing in their only two previous meetings, Koo rather remain cautious.

"It was a long time ago that we defeated them and things could be different now. They were in Malaysia for sparring and have been playing well of late," said Koo.

"Thus we rather remain cautious and take it as a fresh challenge as they are an experienced pair, hence we cannot allow them to have the tactical upperhand."


It was a bad day on the court for Malaysia as they lost both the women singles and mixed doubles matches in the opening day of the Olympic badminton event at the Wembley Arena in London.

Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying went down 11-21,21-5,15-21 to Taiwan's Chen Hing Lin/Cheng Wen Hsing in a match that was littered by mistakes by the Malaysian pair.

And the draft also affected their play to a certain extent but the defeat was largely due to their overcautious approach.

"We were too cautious and did not play our game at all. This makes things more difficult as we need to win both our next matches to make the last eight," said Peng Soon.

"We need to be more aggresive on court as that is what we normally are. It was a poor performance and we just have to do better to survive. No excuses as we played poorly and deserved to lose."

They will take on second seeds Xu Chen/Jin Ma of China tomorrow (Sunday). They have beaten the Chinese in their only previous meeting at the China Open.

The Malaysian pair won the first point and that was the only time they held the lead in the first set as the Taiwanese player sent them scurrying all over the court to retrieve the shuttle.

While Goh was hasty at the front, Chan was making uncharacteristic mistakes as he allowed Chen to dictate play from the baseline with a variety of strokes.

Racing to a 11-6 lead at interval, the Taiwanese pair hit a purple patch as they raced to a10-10 lead on just one serve. And they wrapped up the first set 21-11.
The break did wonders to the Malaysians who despite trailing 1-2 went on to race to a 11-3 lead at the break, this time getting their act right by holding their ground in defence and turning half chances into points.

And once they led 17-5, it was a case of a formality as they wrapped up the second 21- 6 to force a rubber.

The third started off like the first as the Malaysian pair had problem coping with the flight of the shuttle, allowing the Taiwanese to take race to a 11-5 lead although in the initial stage they trailed 3-4.

Suddenly the Malauysians started making mistakes, especially Goh at the front as they wilted under pressure to trail 8-16, and the match was slipping away.

Although the Malaysians picked up a couple of points to reduce the deficit to 14-19, it was a lead that they could not catch up as they succumbed 21-15 and will now find it difficult to make the last eight.

"It was not a good performance by our standards and we were too cautious in the match. We need to take risks in matches and that is what we failed to do," said Goh.

Earlier in the morning Tee Jing Yi put up a gallant fight but it was still not good enough to defeat South Korea's Bae Yeon Ju.

The Malaysian youngster took the first set 21-16 in 20 minutes but could not maintain her momentum and went down 15-21 in the second. But Tee was a spent force in the third as she lost 12-21 in 18 minutes.

However she ought to be commended as she displayed character although up against the 11th seeded.


Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi - London 2012 Olympics: pregnant Malaysian shooter fails to deliver
Baby steps: Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi had been hoping to make the final  Photo: REUTERS
Nur Suryani is the first woman to represent her country in shooting at the Olympics but it is the fact that her baby is due in September that has been making headlines.
The 29-year-old, was unable to claim a spot in the final, finishing in 34th place after shooting 392 targets out of 400.

Nur Suryani is ranked 47th in the world and won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Asian Games in the same year.

Afterwards she said she only felt "three or four" kicks during the competition and that she had told the baby "to behave herself".

The women's 10m air rifle qualifying was won by Sylwia Bogacka of Poland, who scored 399, with Chinese world No 1 and gold medal favourite Yi Siling second.


First update:

Bad opening morning for Malaysia at London Olympics as Nur Suryani Taibi shoots 392 to finish 34th in the 10m Air Rifle qualifiers while singles badminton player Tee Jing Yi took the first set but lost 21-16, 15-21, 12-21 to 11th seeded South Korean Bae Yeon-Ju.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


They may be each others nemisis on the badminton court, but off it Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are the best of friends, as evident when they met outside their hotel at Wembley Plaza.

At the request of this blogger, they posed for pictures and had a 10 minute conversation, both looking confidently into each others eyes.

The topic of the conversation was not badminton.

For Lin Dan was showing Chong Wei his latest watch,that costs lmost RM300,000. And the Malaysian was awed.

"It is a nice watch and it is also very expensive. We talked about our passion for watches and never did we touch on the competition," said Chong Wei.

"We do not discuss badminton and he did not ask about my recovery. Its a question of mutual respect I suppose."


It was at the same venue almost a year ago that the world crumbled before his very own eyes.

And Lee Chong Wei is not going to allow history to repeat itself as the hopes of 26 million Malaysians rest on his frail shoulders to end the nations quest for an Olympic gold medal.

Wembley Arena was the venue of the 2011 World Championships and Chong Wei was a point away from capturing the elusive world title, what more with a win over his long time nemesis Lin Dan.

But that all changed and the scene of Lin Dan ripping his shirt off, celebrating as if there was no tomorrow, is still fresh in the mind of Lee Chong Wei.

"That was a stunning defeat as I was almost there but all of a sudden the title vanished right before my eyes," said Chong Wei.

"I made crucial mistakes but Lin Dan dared gamble and it paid off for him. That defeat still lingers in my mind and it has strengthened my resolve to win the gold medal at the Olympics.

"It will be tough and we cannot compare the Olympics to any Premier or Super Series events, as it's in a totally different league.

"Wembley Arena was unkind to me 12 months ago and lets hope lady luck will smile on me this time around."

The time of redemption was then slated for the 2012 London Olympics but once again Chong Wei was hit by misfortune as he suffered an ankle injury during the Thomas Cup tie against Denmark in Wuhan, China.

Many wrote off his chances, some even to the extent of hinting that there was no way back for Chong Wei after that horrific injury, as many Malaysians saw despair in his eyes as he was taken off the court and also wheeled out of the arrival area of KLIA.

But this is no ordinary athlete for Chong Wei went through hours of rehabilitation to get back into shape, spending at times 13 hours a day undergoing various forms of physical and mental torture to be at Wembley Arena.

Not even the snub by OCM and NSC in picking him as the Malaysian flag bearer and subsequently taking him out of the march past for the opening ceremony affected him psychologically as he preferred answering the critics with a golden performance at the Wembley Arena courts.

Ironically Chong Wei only opens his campaign on July 30.

"It has somewhat been a long lonely road for me since I suffered the injury. To be honest it dawned upon me who were my real friends, who actually cared for me, Chong Wei the ordinary person,"reflected Chong Wei.

"So many had just walked away but never once did I ever think of calling it quits. Actually all this negativity spurred me on as I want to prove a point. It his not about proving detractors wrong but to prove to myself that I still have it to match the world's best.

Having stepped on to the court almost six weeks ago, Chong Wei has been busy getting his strokes back under the watchful eyes of his coaches Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek.

Hours were spent with sparring partners both at the national training centre at Juara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur as well as at the Bath University in England.

And when the draw was conducted at the Main Press Centre in London, Chong Wei was still focussing on his own game, unperturbed by the fact that China's Chen Long was in the same half of the draw as him and could be his likely semi final opponent.

"To be a true champion, one has to take on and defeat the best. So why should I think differently just because these are the Olympics," said Chong Wei when asked about his likely semis clash with Chen Long.

"All players here dream about winning the gold, even Lin Dan who has won wants to win it again.
"It all boils down to form on that day, how you play and how much desire you show on the court is what really matters.

"And not forgetting the element of luck as it deserted me the last time I played on these courts."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As if stumped by the speedy recovery of Lee Chong Wei, WADA officials made a trip to the national badminton team training centre in Bath to conduct a drug test on the top seed for Olympics.

The test though must be looked as a routine affair by the anti doping body as it is quite normal for such tests to be conducted pre-competition.

The test was carried out at 8.30am UK time and was done in the presence of NSI CEO Dato Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Contrary to what was reported by my former colleague from The Malay Mail and now a TV celebrity, Rizal Hashim on his blog, I must however correct the blog entry that i am not the Media Manager for Dato Lee Chong Wei nor am I employed by Badminton Association of Malaysia in any capacity.

I am merely helping a friend and also those in the media bridge the communication gap between the two parties on a pro-Bono basis.

To Rizal I thank you for promoting my blog and I hope to bring up to date news on the happenings at Wembley Arena for sports fans in Malaysia.

There are many members of the Malaysian media that are accredited and they will surely be bringing in depth news from London.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Malaysia's best hope for the Olympic badminton gold Lee Chong Wei is unperturbed by the fact that Chen Loong has been drawn in his half for the men singles competition.

He prefers to take it one match at a time and wants to focus on his opponents round by round.

"I am happy with the draw as every opponent is tough. My aim is to focus on one opponent at a time," said Chong Wei when contacted in Bath, the training base of the Malaysian squad.

"Past records mean nothing in the Olympics as nothing can compare to playing at the Olympic level.

"Every player qualified on merit and hence must be given due respect.

"I am expected to play Simon Santoso in the last 16 and although the stats are in my favour, let me make it clear that I will give it my all in every round.

"It's pointless talking about potential opponents when I need to clear one at a time."

On the potential clash between his nemesis Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat, Chong Wei had this to say,

"We have not seen Taufik after the Indon Open and it could prove to be tricky for Lin Dan. But I am sure Lin Dan will prevail."

Chong Wei added that the preparations at Bath have been excellent and the team was in high spirits.

"We move to London tomorrow (Tuesday) and will commence training at the venue," added Chong Wei.

"I have been told that I am not to be included in the march past for the opening and since they have made a statement there is really nothing to say but respect it.

"My focus is the Olympics and it remains just that. I will do my level best to deliver for Malaysia, that is my promise to all Malaysians."


London 2012 Olympic Games Draw: Men's Doubles

Group A

Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (1)

Fang Chieh Min / Lee Sheng Mu

Ross Smith / Glenn Warfe

Ingo Kindervater / Johannes Schoettler

Group B

Ko Sung Hyun / Yoo Yeong Seong (4)

Bodin Issara / Maneepong Jongjit

Adam Cwalina / Michal Logosz

Mohammad Ahsan / Bona Septano

Group C

Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (3)

Chai Biao / Guo Zhendong

Dorian Lance James / Willem Viljoen

Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov

Group D

Chung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae (2)

Howard Bach/Tong Gunawan

Naoki Kawamae / Shoji Sato

Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong


London 2012 Olympic Games Draw:

Men's Singles

(Groups A to H are the draw's top half, Groups I to P are the draw's bottom half)

Group A

Lee Chong Wei (1)

Ville Lang

Group B

Simon Santoso (9)

Michael Lachnsteiner

Raul Must

Group C

Kenichi Tago (8)

Niluka Karunaratne

Group D

Nguyen Tien Minh (10)

Kashyap Parupalli

Tan Yuhan

Group E

Chen Long (3)

Boonsak Ponsana

Group F

Wong Wing Ki (16)

Edwin Ekiring

Brice Leverdez

Group G

Peter Gade (5)

Pedro Martins

Group H

Son Wan Ho (13)

Vladimir Ivanov

Hsu Jen Hao

Group I

Jan O Jorgensen (12)

Misha Zilberman

Derek Wong

Group J

Lee Hyun Il (7)

Rodrigo Pacheco Carrillo

Group K

Marc Zwiebler (14)

Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed

Dymtro Zavadsky

Group L

Chen Jin (4)

Wacha Przemyslaw

Group M

Rajiv Ouseph (15)

Henri Hurskainen

Kevin Cordon

Group N

Sho Sasaki (6)

Virgil Soeroredjo

Group O

Taufik Hidayat (11)

Pablo Abian

Petr Koukal

Group P

Lin Dan (2)

Scott Evans

The winner of A will play B in the last 16 while in last eight winner of A/B will play C/D.

Thus Chong Wei will play Chen Loong in the semis looks like a possibility.

As for Lin Dan he has to contend with Taufik Hidayat in the last 16.


The Olympics gets under way this Friday in London and those fortunate enough to get on the bandwagon are either packing their suitcases or are already feeling the effects of the bloody English weather.

Having looked at the list of officials going, at times one wonders what these people have really done for sports, besides collecting allowances for sitting on various government appointed bodies.

But putting that aside, the list of one sport has strengthen my conviction that officials really do not care about the athletes, and their focus is on the summer sale.

How could one justify the fact that in this sport, the athletes return a day or two after their event while the official stays for another week!

Why are the athletes been sent back?

Also will the National Sports Council come clean by revealing the list of officials that have gone under the pretext of " monitoring or statistic plus data collection "?

It will be interesting to see the list if the NSC Director General will release it for it seems it's more closely guarded then the date of the elections.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Mohamed bin Hammam has had his lifetime ban by Fifa annulled by the court of arbitration for sport.

The ruling by Cas will cause huge embarrassment to world football's governing body, whose ethics committee imposed the lifetime ban for bribery a year ago.

It is understood that while the Qatari has not been proven innocent by Cas the appeal has been upheld on the grounds of a lack of evidence.

Fifa can bring fresh proceedings against Bin Hammam if the revamped ethics committee has any new evidence.

Bin Hammam was found guilty by Fifa's ethics committee last year of paying bribes to Caribbean officials while campaigning against Sepp Blatter for the presidency.

Bin Hammam had been president of the Asian Football Confederation and he was provisionally suspended by that governing body earlier this week. That followed an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers that centred on contract negotiations and payments to and from AFC bank accounts during Bin Hammam's presidency.

He was alleged to have breached a number of AFC regulations including relating to gifts and bribery.

Sources close to Bin Hammam say the allegations are further attempts to tarnish his name. Bin Hammam always claimed the Fifa action against him was retribution for having challenged Blatter for the presidency.

It is almost a year to the day since Fifa's ethics committee found the 63-year-old Bin Hammam guilty of conspiring to pay bribes and issued the lifetime ban.

Bin Hammam had been a growing force in international football and displayed his power by being influential in Qatar's runaway victory in the contest to host the 2022 World Cup.

Some observers had believed he was on course to defeat Blatter until, less than a month before the election, he was accused of paying around $1m (£637,000) to officials from 25 Caribbean nations.

Witnesses testified that after being addressed by Bin Hammam at a specially-arranged meeting in Trinidad, officials were invited to pick up cash gifts of $40,000 per association contained in brown envelopes.

The witnesses stated that the former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner had told officials the money had come from Bin Hammam. Warner resigned from Fifa a month later and refused to speak to investigators.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


One often hears politicians make statements that are out of this world.

But Sports Minister Dato Shabery Cheek should surely be in contention for a bloopers award for making two within a few days.

First he said that Lee Chong Wei will NOT be allowed to march at the Olympics since they want to PROTECT his ankle.

So did you make arrangements to fly him in FITST Class to London as flying economy is a little cramped?

That is not all for who is the Minister to decide who marches or not.

Then the mother of all statements as seen below, that the Pahang Sukma is the best.

Obviously that is a cliche kind of statement as his definition is the best comes from the fact that no protests were lodged.

I will give it to you for making sports a joke.

KEMAMAN, July 14 (Bernama) -- The ongoing 15th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in in Pahang can be considered to be among the best as no complaints or protests have been received from the contingents, especially in subjective sports, said Youth and Sport Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said he was satisfied with the organising of the Games which reflected that Pahang, as the hosted, were well-prepared.

"I am happy because there are no complaints or protests in the subjective sports as sometimes judges are said to give an advantage to the hosts," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the Kemaman Umno Women, Youth and Puteri delegates meeting, here Saturday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Selangor served up a surprise when they defeated Malacca 2-1 at the Sukpa Stadium this morning to throw wide open the race for the semi final spot from Group A of the women competition of the Malaysian Games in Kuantan.

Needing a win to stay in contention for a place in the last four, Selangor scored the winner two minutes from time through Ellya Syahirah Ellias whose deflection sailed over the Malacca keeper Nur Afiqah Omar into goal.

Malacca had taken the lead in the 44th minute through Nurul Aqilah Izzati Hasmawi in the 44th minute. But their joy was shortlived as Selangor drew level in the 46th minute when Nurul Safiqah Mat Isa put the finishing toucjes to a well worked penalty corner.

Currently four teams are in running for the semis spot, with Penang, Selangor and Malacca all tied on 7 points while Johor could join them on the same number of points if they can defeat Perak in a later match today.



Kelantan 2 Kedah 2
Johor 1 Perlis 1
Sarawak 1 Pahang 7
Wilayah Persekutuan v Perak
Terengganu v Negri Sembilan
Penang v Malacca


Penang 4 Sarawak 2
Selangor 2 Malacca 1
Johor v Perak
Kedah v Terengganu
Negeri Sembilan v Pahang



                                          P    W    D    L    F      A    PTS
Wilayah Persekutuan        4     3      1    0    10    17     10
Perak                                 4     3      1    0    12     4      10
Terengganu                       4     3      0    1    24     8        9
Selangor                            5     2      1    2   10     11       7
Negri Sembilan                 4     2      1    1    11    15       7
Kedah                                6     0      1    5    8      21       1
Kelantan                            5     0      1    4    3      23       1


                                          P    W    D    L    F      A    PTS
Penang                              3     3      0    0    14     6        9
Malacca                            3     2      1    0    10     2        7
Johor                                 4     2      1    1    12     6        7
Pahang                              4     1      1    2    11    10       4
Perlis                                 4     0      2    2     7    15        2
Sarawak                            4     0      1    3      5    20       1      

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Gold bar-for-gold. That's what awaits Malaysian shuttlers who deliver gold medals at the upcoming London Olympic Games.

Dangling the carrot at a news conference here Tuesday, KLRC Chief Datuk Seri Andrew Kam said he would be presenting a 12.5kg gold bar worth over RM2 million to gold medal winners.

"If there are more than two gold medal winners, the gold bar will be divided equally," he said, adding that the gold bar incentive would only be given to badminton players as the sports was his passion.

Throwing his challenge to Malaysian shuttlers to grab the first gold medal at the Olympics for Malaysia, he said that Malaysians would be rooting for badminton players as the fans love the sports very much.

Friday, July 06, 2012


Putting aside the issue of the flag bearer for the Olympic Games, Lee Chong Wei is all set for the battle for the coveted gold medal at Wembley Arena.

His reaction to queries from the members of the Malaysian media this morning exemplified the character of a humble person, ready to accept whatever the decision makers made, and above all remaining totally focussed at the task at hand - that is to end the barren gold medal run of the nation in the greatest multi sports event of all time.

"I have always made it clear that I will participate in the opening ceremony. Every athlete wants to be part of an opening or closing ceremony and why should I be any different. But being the flag bearer brings me added honour, thats about it. So really that is not my decision to make," said Chong Wei who spent considerable time with members of the media after training at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.

When provoked by a member of the media as to why he wanted to be in the march past for the opening ceremony when he was still recovering from the injury, Chong Wei was calm and composed in his answer.

"If I am to say that due to my injury I cannot take part in the march past, then really I should not even be in London," was his response.

"All I said was I want to be part of the contingent in the march past. I have no intention of creating an issue."

Later when speaking to this blogger, Chong Wei paid tribute to Pandalela Rinong, the diver nominated by the National Sports Council as the flag bearer.

"She is a wonderful athlete and if they pick her I would say she deserves the honour as well. Infact all those athletes who have qualified for the Olympics are deserving candidates," said Chong Wei.

"Pandalela has done well for diving and has put Malaysia on the world map. I have no issue should the decision be in her favour as I too admire her achievements."

Chong Wei also reiterated his call for privacy with regards to his statement that he will tie the knot next year.

"I do hope all of you will be patient and I will announce details after the Olympics are over. Not to worry I will invite all members of the media when the big day happens but it will not be this year," joked Chong Wei.

"At the moment it is the Olympics on my mind and I hope Malaysians will pray that I return with the gold medal from the Olympics.

"Sports unites a nation and I hope we all remain united in our quest to bring glory to this great nation of ours."

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Its now Lt Commander Dato Lee Chong Wei as he was inducted into the Royal Malaysian Navy today.

Chong Wei received the honorary lieutenant commander of the Royal Malaysian Navy Volunteer Reserve (PSSTLDM) award from Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Ministry of Defence.

The nations best hope for Olympic gold described the award, effective May, as the impetus for his success in the London Olympics at the end of this month.

And that says Chong Wei is a tremendous boost in his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics that get underway in three weeks time.

"Now I can also salute after I defeat Lin Dan on the court as before this he used to do that," said Chong Wei  in reference to his nemisis Lin Dan who is a member of the Chinese Army.

"Putting that aside I am really honoured and elated at being picked and given this rank. It is a honour personally as well as badminton in particular and sports in general. This is a recognition that the government recognise the sacrifices made by sportsmen."

Chong Wei also let the cat out of the bag in regards to ending his bachelorhood.

"I will settle down next year and most are aware who my future wife will be. But at the moment it is the Olympics that remain as the focus and I shall make a formal announcement after the Olympics," said Chong Wei who added that he has never named his future wife.

"It is a personal matter and I hope all can respect both her and me as well as our respective families and not speculate on the candidate."

Chong Wei will meet the media on Friday, July 6 at Stadium Juara at 1030am, most likely his last public event before he flies to Bath on July 12 for a two week training camp prior  to the Olympics.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Update Thursday, July 5

It is learnt that the OCM Executive Board will decide via postal vote on the candidates for the flag bearer for the 2012 London Olympics. The decision has to be made before the flag handing ceremony on July 11. Thus what NSC announced was not reflective of the stand of OCM which has the prerogative to select the flag bearer.

Original posting

The Badminton Association of Malaysia has submitted an appeal to the Olympic Council of Malaysia to pick Lee Chong Wei as the flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics.

This was confirmed by BAM General Manager Kenny Goh who said that BAM felt that Chong Wei was deserving of the honour and this wanted OCM to study the matter.

" We spoke to Chong Wei and he is willing to be part of the opening ceremony. Hence based on that we felt that he deserves the honor of being the flag bearer," said Kenny.

" We are not disputing the decision of naming another athlete, just that we feel that it will only be appropriate for Chong Wei to be given the recognition as he is one of the most successful and recognizable athletes in Malaysia."

But a new twist seems to have occurred as OCM never made a decision on who the flag bearer was to be and were somewhat caught unawares when NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong made the announcement with Chef de Mission Tun Ahmad Sarji last week.

NSC it seems had sent a letter to OCM dated June 26 but delivered June 28 suggesting Pandelela Rinong as the flag bearer.

And 24 hours later an announcement was made at Stadium Juara.

OCM is expected to look into both letters and the pole so as to say is now firmly planted in the yard of OCM President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar.

And added to the mess is the fact that both athletes open their campaign at the Olympics of July 29, two days after the opening ceremony.

The best solution would be for Chong Wei to be the flag bearer at the opening while Pandalela could be the flag bearer at the closing.

By doing that it will appease all factions and above all honor both athletes, both deserving the distinction in their own right.