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Monday, January 21, 2008

Malaysian Open 2008 Aftermath

After the excitement of the Malaysian Open, it is time for the post mortem of this eventful tournament. In a tournament where most of the seeds were killed off during early rounds, it certainly does give a preview as to what we badminton fans should expect in 2008.

Men's Singles

After a perfect start from Lee Chong Wei, in which he won his 4th title, we badminton fans are still not very aware as to what to expect in 2008. This is mainly because of the absence of Lin Dan, who seems determined to avoid the Malaysian Open crown. Dominating the international Men's Singles badminton scene in 2007, Lin's absence means that we are unable to find out how good or bad Lin's form has become. The Korean Open might give us a better indication, as all the top players will be present.


Men's Doubles

Malaysians once again have proved that they are weak under pressure. Top Men's Doubles pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong faltered to eventual Runners-Up Paaske and Rasmussen, while Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah were also upset by the resurgent pair. Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan have been in stunning form, winning their 4th straight title. However, it might be a case of peaking too soon. It remains to be see whether Markis and Hendra can maintain their scintillating and punishing performance right till the Thomas Cup and the Olympics. A perfect example of this was last year in which Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were virtually unbeatable in the beginning of the year while losing the World Championships. On the other hand, our favourite coach Li Yongbo must be desperately looking for a solution as Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng continued their unconvincing performance ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Danish pair Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen have also emerged once again as a force to be reckoned with, by upsetting many pairs into their runners-up finish in Kuala Lumpur. The competition is certainly heating up!

Women's Singles

Earlier in the tournament, I predicted that Tine Rasmussen would make a first round exit in the hands of Xu Huaiwen. Tine has shrugged off this prediction and have gone all the way to win the title. This once again, throws the competition for the Women's Singles wide open, with more challenges to the Chinese aces than ever. Tine Rasmussen, Wong Mew Choo, Wang Chen and Zhou Mi all appear to be the frontrunner to spoil the Chinese party.

Mixed Doubles

This event has marked the resurgence of the Korean Mixed Doubles Department, who were once extremely strong. With a strong history, Korea has produced players such as Ha Tae Kwon, Kim Dong Moon and Park Joo Bong that have all brought glory to this nation. With the monopoly of the Chinese and the Indonesian broken, a new factor in the equation, Korean has been added. It remains to be seen whether the pair of Lee Hyo Jung and Lee Yong Dae can follow up their performance.

Women's Doubles

China has dominated, is dominating, and will dominate. Enough said. :)


Stay tuned to The Badminton Blog for updates on the Korean Open Super Series!

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