Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kingston brings luck

BAM patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor congratulates Lee Chong Wei after he helped Malaysia to a 3-1 win over Thailand in the Axiata Cup final at the Cheras Badminton Stadium yesterday.

BABY Kingston is already bringing luck to his father Lee Chong Wei. The World No 1 guided Malaysia to a 3-1 win over Thailand at Cheras Badminton Stadium in the Axiata Cup final at Cheras Badminton Stadium yesterday.

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Chong Wei, who had initially opted out of the semi-final and final after the birth of Kingston on Friday, decided to help the Malaysian team who were lacking bite in the men's singles.

He duly delivered a point by beating Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-12, 21-18.

Malaysia had started the day on the wrong footing when Sonia Cheah went down to Ratchanok Inthanon 21-16, 21-17 in the women's singles.

Mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were in fiery form when they defeated Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam 21-16, 21-15 before Chong Wei put Malaysia ahead in the third match of the day.

Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were hardly tested as they secured the winning point by beating Boonsak Ponsana-Songphon Anugritayawon 21-10, 21-in the deciding men's doubles.

The Axiata Cup victory saw the Malaysian team laying their hands on the US$400,000 (RM1.21 million) first prize while Thailand received US$200,000.

Chong Wei, whose wife, Wong Mew Choo and son are still in hospital, said it was a last minute decision by the coaches, and he accepted their call to help Malaysia win the mixed team event.

"We have never won the Axiata Cup and in fact, we have never won a mixed team event and I accepted the coaches' call for me to play today," said Chong Wei.

"The arrival of Kingston has already given me the lucky break and I hope this will continue where I can win more honours for the country.

"I just tested the court at about 7pm (today). Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng could have played but it is hard to say if they could deliver the point, and that's why I had to play.

"I hope the win will also give us the motivation ahead of the Sudirman Cup (in Kuala Lumpur) next month where I hope the players will work hard and do well."

In the third placing playoff, Asian All-Stars defeated Indonesia 3-1 for the US$150,000 purse.

Last year's winners Indonesia had to be satisfied with US$100,000.

Results - Malaysia 3 Thailand 1 (Women's Singles: Ratchanok Inthanon bt Sonia Cheah 21-16, 21-17; Mixed Doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam 21-16, 21-15; Men's Singles: Lee Chong Wei bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-12, 21-18; Men's Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong bt Boonsak Ponsana-Songphon Anugritayawon 21-10, 21-17).

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