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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Asian Badminton Championships Day 3 Predictions

After the numerous upsets yesterday, day 3 appears to be more scripted.

Lydia Cheah vs. Kaori Imabeppu
Lydia created one of the suprise upset yesterday, unseating seventh seed Kaori Mori in 2 straight sets to advance to the second round. Today, she faces another Kaori, this time, less experienced and less heard of Kaori Imabeppu. After yesterday's timely confidence boost, Lydia should easily take this one.

Julia Wong vs. Ai Goto
After disposing of Indian ace Saina Nehwal in 3 hard sets yesterday, Julia takes on Ai Goto, a lesser known Japanese shuttler who beat another Malaysian, Tee Jing Yi. Like Lydia, Julia should be able to win this match with ease.

Tan Wee Kiong/Woon Khe Wei vs. He Hanbin/Yu Yang
It will be a tough ask for Wee Kiong and Khe Wei to beat Hanbin and Yuyang, the newly crowned Indian Open champions. However, I do think it is time for a breakthrough from the Asian Junior Champions, after being exposed to many senior tournaments. Malaysia have gone without a superb Mixed Doubles pair since Koo Kien Keat/Wong Pei Tty, and Tan and Woon are still struggling to fill in the World Championships broze medallist's shoes as the nation's top Mixed Doubles pair. If Tan and Woon can beat the world number 3, it will be a timely confidence booster.

Wong Choong Hann vs. Chen Yu
Chen Yu has come of a uninspiring run of tournaments. Beaten by Anand Chetan in the Indian Open, Chen Yu appears to be slumping. However, after his confident disposal of Sho Sasaki, a rising Japanese star, he will be more confortable facing Malaysian old horse Wong Choong Hann. Wong's form has been topsy turvy for the past few tournaments, but the Malaysian veteran should be able to just nick a win, with the support of the home crowd. Wong in 3.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Boonsak Ponsana
Ponsana is coming into the Asian Badminton Championships after claiming the Indian Open title, albeit in the absence of many top badminton players. However, Ponsana has always shown that he has the ability to make it to the top. However, what stands in his way is not the top, rather, its the top of the top, the creme de la creme. World number 2 and Malaysian home crowd favorite Lee Chong Wei is out to win his second Asian title, and should be able to comfortably do so, although he was troubled by Chinese youngster Zhu Weilun yesterday. However, it has been speculated that Lee was merely trying to get himself into the rhythm, by purposely prolonging the game. Lee in 2.

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