Former World No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong kept their cool and saved five championship points to clinch the men’s doubles title in the USD500,000 Yonex Chinese Taipei Open in Taipei on Sunday – defeating unseeded Koreans Choi Solgyu-Seo Seung Jae in the final.
It was not an easy win for the Malaysian professionals who went independent this year. They kept their cool even when the Koreans led 20-16 in the decider before prevailing 21-19, 15-21, 23-21 in the 62-minute thriller.
The Malaysians are the former World No 1 are currently ranked No 15 in the world. In Taipei, the Malaysians were seeded fourth.
After the win, Wee Kiong said in a live on-court interview that “the small band of Malaysian supporters gave us the inspiration to keep going even when the chips were down.”
A small band of Malaysian supporters who came armed with the national flag, certainly made their presence felt at the Taipei Arena. The home supporters also threw their support behind the Malaysians after the Koreans had knocked out home favorites and No 2 seeds Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin in the semi-finals.
This is the second title for the Malaysians who won the Thailand Masters in January this year.
For their efforts in Taipei, they pocketed USD39,500 in prize money that came with the title. The losers settled for USD19,000.
The win in Taipei is a massive boost for V Shem-Wee Kiong in their bid to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. The pair won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Chinese Taipei’s World No 2 Chou Tien Chen, who was the top seed, won the men’s singles title with a 21-12, 21-13 win over unseeded Heo Kwang Hee in 37 minutes in the final. It was Tien Chen’s third title this year, having won the Indonesian Open and the Thailand Open earlier this year.
The women’s singles title was won by Korea’s top woman shuttler Sung Ji-Hyun who was hardly challenged by Canada’s Michelle Li in her 21-11, 21-9 win in 34 minutes to pocket USD37,500. This is her first title in two years.  – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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