Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei gave home fans plenty to cheer about when he clinched the Victor Far East Malaysia Masters in Penang yesterday.
Lee had little trouble disposing off the challenge of compatriot Iskandar Zulkarnain 21-18 21-11 in the final of the Grand Prix Gold event.
The finals on Sunday saw winners from five countries. India’s PV Sindhu (featured image) needed just 32 minutes to close out her Women’s Singles final against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, 21-15 21-9.
Indonesia’s Markus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Men’s Doubles); Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Women’s Doubles) and China’s Zheng Si Wei/Li Yinhui (Mixed Doubles) were the other winners.
Lee did not drop a game all tournament, including the quarter-finals against India’s Ajay Jayaram and semi-finals against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto.
Zulkarnain had an impressive tournament, beating highly-rated players like Son Wan Ho (Korea) in the first round, Anthony Ginting (Indonesia) in the second, China’s Xue Song in the third, Hong’s Kong’s Ng Ka Long in the quarter-finals, and most memorably for him, India’s K Srikanth in the semi-finals, 27-25 21-9.
Sindhu prevailed over top seed Sung Ji Hyun (Korea) in the semi-finals before easing past Gilmour on Sunday. Gilmour fought past Japan’s Saena Kawakami in a close second round (21-16 13-21 22-20), before beating the likes of Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan and Japan’s Yui Hashimoto.
Fernaldi and Sukamuljo won the closest match of finals day, over veteran Malaysians Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong, 18-21 21-13 21-18. The young Indonesians beat third seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Choel (Korea) in the second round and eighth seeds Lee Sheng Mu/ Tsai Chia Hsin (Chinese Taipei) in the quarter-finals, while Koo/Tan surprised top seeds Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang (Korea) in the semi-finals.
In the Women’s Doubles final, Matsutomo and Takahashi justified their top seeding beating China’s Yu Yang/Tang Yuanting 21-18 22-20. The Japanese had earlier beaten Chinese qualifiers Du Yue/Li Yinhui in the semi-finals, while Yu/Tang prevailed over Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee, 21-12 21-8.
Exciting prospect Zheng Si Wei of China showed why he is so highly rated by combining with Li Yunhui to take the Mixed Doubles crown over Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing, 21-14 21-19. The Chinese stunned several higher ranked players on the way, including top seeds Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) in the first round, Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara in the second, Korea’s Shin Baek Choel/Chae Yoo Jung in the quarter-finals, and fourth seeds Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah (Hong Kong) in the semi-finals.
Qualifiers Tan/Lai upset third seeds Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (Indonesia) in the first round, followed by victories over Ronan Labar/Emilie Lefel (France), Keigo Sonoda/Naoko Fukuman (Japan), and senior compatriots Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying in the semi-finals.