Breakthrough for doubles pair

Breakthrough for doubles pair
Coach Liu Qingdong (centre) is confident that the win in Johor will inspire Chayut Triyachart (left) and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta to take their game to a higher level in their badminton careers.

The winning shot came with a bit of luck, with the shuttlecock striking the top of the net before falling beyond the reach of their Malaysian rivals.

But it was not just luck that Singapore's men's doubles pairing of Danny Bawa Chrisnanta, 25, and Chayut Triyachart, 24, relied on in clinching the Republic's first title win at the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold on Sunday when they beat the defending champions - Malaysia's Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah - 21-17, 22-20.

They had also defeated the top seeds - Malaysians Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong - 21-16, 22-20 in the first round.

Ranked No. 281 in the world, the Singapore duo carried that boost in confidence into the match on Sunday against the Malaysian second seeds, ranked world No. 15, and before a boisterous home crowd in Pasir Gudang in Johor.

Said Chrisnanta: "I think the Malaysian players were under pressure today while we came into this game with nothing to lose and played our normal game."

The Johor outing was the duo's fourth competition together since re-establishing their partnership on Triyachart's return to the national team in November.

While they are not Singapore's top-ranked men's doubles pair, coach Liu Qingdong, 44, noted that the Johor win would give them greater confidence in their abilities.

"Hopefully, their increased self-belief will help them in their training and future tournaments down the road," said Liu who assumed the position of national team head coach on Feb 1.

Their next challenge will be the OUE Singapore Open which will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from April 8-13.

But they will have to negotiate the qualifying rounds in order to earn a berth.

They acknowledge that the competition will be a lot stiffer at the home event.

"Everyone wants to win, everyone wants to be the champion but we'll take each round as it comes," said Chrisnanta.

In the men's singles final on Sunday, Indonesia's Simon Santoso beat India's Sourabh Varma while China's Xue Yao defeated Indonesia's Adrianti Firdasari to take the women's singles title at the tournament.

yuntingc@sph.com.sg


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