New champs in the making
14 Jan 2012

Three pairs who have never won a Superseries tournament before qualified for the Maybank Malaysia Open presented by Proton on Sunday, while a fourth pair – Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu –will be aiming for their third Superseries crown.

Chien Min-Sheng Mu, who won the Singapore and Indonesian Opens in 2010, defeated India Open champions Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata of Japan 21-19, 18-21, 21-12 to book their ticket to the gold medal match.

Waiting for them will be South Korea’s Cho Gun Woo-Shin Baek Choel, who edged defending champions Chai Biao-Guo Zhendong 26-24, 23-21 in a see-saw battle which saw the lead change many times.

In the end, the Koreans, who received the full back of the Malaysian supporters, just nicked the win thanks to their ability to keep cool under pressure.

The women’s final will see South Korea’s Ha Jung-Eun-Kim Min-Jung taking on Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter-Juhl of Denmark.

Jung Eun-Min Jung kept up their perfect record against Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito when they came back from an opening game loss to post a 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 victory.

“We made a mistake by going defensive after taking the opening game and paid the price,” said a visibly disappointed Naito.

“We should have allowed the Koreans the chance to attack us as that is their strong point. It is a bitter lesson for us but we have can take some pride in reaching the semi-finals as it will help us for the Olympics later this year.”

Pedersen-Juhl, who are accomplished mixed doubles players, reached the final when they defeated Japan Open winners Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin 21-14, 21-13 in 34 minutes.

Pedersen-Juhl are now targeting a top eight ranking to qualify for the London Olympics. They are currently world No. 10.

“It was a great match from our point of view because it is never easy playing against a Chinese pair and beating them,” said Juhl.

“I thought we really played well and the Chinese were a little afraid of us and it feels great entering the final for the first time as a pair.

“We have a good chance to qualify for the Olympics but it’ll be the coach’s call at the end of the day because there is another Danish pair in the reckoning.

“Nevertheless, we’re hoping that with this final appearance we\'ll be able to close the gap on the top eight and hopefully the other pair pick up the pace as well,\" added Juhl.

The Danish pair in with a shot for a plane ticket to London is world No. 14 Line Damkjaer Kruse-Marie Roepke.