Just three weeks after being axed from the national squad newly minted professionals Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi celebrated the Chinese New Year in style in Bangkok after winning the men’s doubles in the USD170,000 Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters.
This is the biggest win in their badminton career and their first Super 300 title that came with USD13,430 prize money. The Malaysians came back from a game down to beat China’s Huang Kaixiang-Liu Cheng 18-21, 21-17, 21-17 in an entertaining 72-minute thriller at the Huamark Indoor Stadium.
The win also drove home a strong message to the national selectors who have named Ye Sin-Ee Yi in the team (the only independent players named) to the Badminton Asia Team Championships to be held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila from Feb 11-16.
It is a win Yew Sin-Ee Yi will savor as they proved that they are capable of delivering the goods although they were axed from the national squad as they were deemed not to have achieved the KPI set by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
Yew Sin-Ee Yi proudly pointed to the Malaysian flag on their shirt as they celebrated the win over Kaixiang-Liu Cheng who had knocked out another professional pair and Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong 21-15, 21-17 in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China checked his five-match losing streak against Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto with a come-from-behind 16-21, 21-13, 21-12 win in an hour for the men’s singles title.
The women’s singles went to Japan’s former world No 1 and top seed Akane Yamaguchi with a hard-fought 21-16, 22-20 win over 17-year-old Korean An Se-young in 50 minutes. The 22-year-old Yamaguchi went into the match with a 2-0 record against ninth-ranked Korean.
China’s world No 1 Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifah had to battle for a marathon 86 minutes before clinching the women’s doubles with a 17-21, 21-17, 21-15 win against Koreans Baek Ha Na-Jung Kyung Eun. -BY RIZAL ABDULLAH