# Malaysians beat Thailand’s top pair in the final
# Jun Hao loses to Tommy Sugiarto in men’s singles final
Malaysia’s rising star Leong Jun Hao lost out on experience as he went down fighting 16-21, 15-21 to defending champion Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles final in the USD150,000 Princess Srivannavari Thailand Masters in Bangkok on Sunday.
However, the 18-year-old Asian junior champion and the world junior runners-up, ranked a low 215, still walked away with his head held high against the Indonesian who is ranked 25, during the 43 minutes he was on the court.
It must be noted that Jun Hao came through the qualifying rounds and en-route to the final he took the prized scalp of Hong Kong veteran and fourth seed Hu Yun in the quarter-finals with a 21-15, 20-22, 21-7 win.
Jun Hao’s defeat, however, was made up by Malaysia’s win in the mixed doubles with Chang Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying making a return to winning ways. The fifth seeds battled for 67 minutes before snatching a 21-15, 14-21, 21-16 win over Thailand’s top pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Puttita Supajirakul – the seventh seeds.
The Malaysian pair is making a comeback to competitive badminton after Liu Ying’s shoulder injury, which needed surgery in Germany and kept her out of competition for eight months. During her absence Peng Soon was paired with two juniors and achieved a fair amount of success.
As a pair Peng Soon-Liu Ying last won a major title last year and this was the New Zealand Open.
Top seed Nitchaon Jindapol defeated compatriot and national champion Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-11, 21-18 in the women’s singles final in a 45-minute encounter.
Thailand also won the men’s doubles and the women’s doubles to give their home fans plenty to cheer.
Tinn Isriyanet-Kittisak Namdash, who knocked out Malaysia’s former world number one and Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, the third seeds, in the semi-finals, bagged the men’s doubles title with 21-18, 11-21, 22-20 win over number seven seeds Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira-Ade Yusuf Santoso of Indonesia- their first title in a big international meet.
Number one seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai won the women’s doubles title with a straight games 21-19, 21-17 win over number two seeds Anggia Shitta Awanda-Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani of Indonesia.BY RIZAL ABDULLAH