Friday, February 20, 2009

Cautions return for Mew Choo

WONG Mew Choo is on course to recover in time for the World Championships in Hyderabad on Aug 10-16 but national singles coach Misbun Sidek does not discount a premature end to her career.

Mew Choo, who has suffered injuries to both knees and has been out of action since the Super Series Masters in Kota Kinabalu in December, began light training three days ago.

Full training is still a while away as Misbun doesn't even want to risk putting her through match practice as it could cost a recurrence and effectively put an end to Mew Choo's career.

The fact that Mew Choo's world ranking has steadily dropped -- she is now ranked World No 12 -- leaves her with no choice but to compete in the Asian Badminton Championships on Apr 7-12 in order remain in the top 24.

Malaysia can consider three players for the World Championships if Mew Choo and Julia Wong, ranked World No 16, maintain their position in the top 24 while Lydia Cheah, ranked 35th, also makes progress.
"Mew Choo has recovered but she is still not ready to resume full training. Hopefully, she will be able to achieve her goal of playing in the World Championships but her situation is a little delicate," said Misbun yesterday.

"I want to see her prolonging her career but it will be a pity if she doesn't make it. The left knee injury is serious but the right knee is not so bad and she needs another three to four weeks to regain complete fitness.

"There is no point at the moment to send her for tournaments or even ask her to join match practice.

"It is very risky to rush her into competition but as long as she reacts positively to the treatment and rehabilitation, Mew Choo can carry on playing."

A semi-final appearance in the Singapore Open last June was her best achievement in the last eight months.

The rut really began after the Beijing Olympics as she failed in the preliminary rounds in the six tournaments she competed in.

Despite that, the Sports Ministry's London Olympics steering committee has named Mew Choo as a potential medallists.

However, Mew Choo will be more than happy if she can continue playing till the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games next year. -- K.M. BOOPATHY

© Copyrighted at 5:44 PM

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Julia in no hurry to take over number one spot

KUALA LUMPUR: National women’s singles shuttler Julia Wong is in no hurry to take over the number one spot from seasoned campaigner Wong Mew Choo.

The 21-year-old Julia has other targets to aim for this year.

In the absence of Mew Choo, who is recovering from knee and elbow injuries, it will be up to Julia to keep the Malaysian flag flying high in the women’s singles event on the international front.

Julia has been named for the German Open in Mulheim from Feb 24-March 1 and the All-England from March 3-8 with youngster Lydia Cheah.

Julia, the world No. 16 and who is only four rungs below Mew Choo, stands a better chance of making an impact in the German Open.

Julia said that she was more focused on realising her dream to win her first Open title.

“I have not reached the same standard as Mew Choo yet. I am not thinking of becoming the national number one. I have not even won my first Open title,” said Julia.

“My performance is still not steady although I have improved a lot.”

The Malacca lass acknowledged that her chances of ending her title drought would be better at the German Open.

“The field is usually stronger in the All-England. Hopefully, I can put up a good show in the German Open. I will be competing in the All-England for the third time and I hope I can clear the early round for the first time,” she said.

“With more consistend performances, I hope to strengthen my chances to qualify for the World Championships (in India in August) with Mew Choo.”

Julia returned with all the singles players from a three-day motivation camp in Kuching yesterday.

She said the camp was useful for strengthening team unity.

“We could not do many outdoor activities because of rain. But it was fun when we were asked to get an ice-bath at 2am. We got to know our team-mates better,” she said.

“The activities helped us to be more confident of ourselves.”

Yesterday, the doubles players left for Kuching for their three-day stint.

p/s - I dun wan Julia Wong to be Malaysia's no 1 !! NO !!! haih....MEW CHOO !! you can do it !!

© Copyrighted at 12:27 PM