Edisi Sukan

Edisi Sukan

The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 09:23 PM PST

The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

Malaysian badminton coach defects to Indonesia

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 08:55 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Malaysia's women's badminton coach is set to leave by the end of March to join the Indonesian national team, local media reported today.

National singles coach Wong Tat Meng has been with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) for eight years and will become the first Malaysian to coach in Indonesia at the national level.

"Tat Meng wanted to move to greener pastures and he has submitted his resignation letter," BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai told The Star newspaper.

"It should be looked at positively as he can come back one day and become a better coach as what Tan Kim Her did," he added, referring to the first Malaysian coach to ply his trade overseas in South Korea and England before returning to the country last year.

Wong's replacement has not been decided and the BAM said it may have to reshuffle or look for a new coach from outside.

Wong will continue to guide Malaysia's Olympic hopeful Wong Mew Choo for the All England championships next month, before leaving to join his predecessor Li Mao in Indonesia.

"It is a good chance for me to widen my coaching knowledge and also meet new challenges in a new environment," Wong told the New Straits Times.

"Indonesia is one of the leading badminton nations and I have plenty to learn there." — Reuters


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Woods, Poulter and Stricker go out on wild day

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 06:13 PM PST

Mickelson hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round in Marana yesterday, February 23, 2011. — Reuters pic

MARANA (Arizona), Feb 24 — Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and holder Ian Poulter made early exits as the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship lived up to its reputation of wild unpredictability yesterday.

There were 14 upsets in all from the 32 matches at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, fulfilling world number one Lee Westwood's pre-tournament description of the first day as "one of the most exciting days of the year".

Three-times champion Woods, striving to end a winless run of 15 months, was eliminated by 65th-ranked Dane Thomas Bjorn after 19 holes.

"I blew it," the 14-times major winner said greenside after going out in the first round for a second time at this event.

American world number eight Stricker, who claimed the 2001 Match Play title in Australia, was stunned by 17-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero 2&1.

Poulter, who beat fellow Englishman Paul Casey 4&2 in last year's final to claim his first PGA Tour victory, was beaten by American Stewart Cink after 19 holes.

A tournament record eight matches went into extra holes but three of the top four seeds ensured a measure of normalcy with comfortable victories on a day of dazzling sunshine, cool temperatures and gusting winds in the Arizona desert.

Top-seeded Briton Westwood never trailed in his match before beating 2007 champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden 3&2.

Second-ranked German Martin Kaymer completed a 7&6 demolition of South Korean Noh Seung-yul and fourth seed Phil Mickelson breezed past Australian Brendan Jones 6&5.

Woods appeared to hold the momentum in his match with Bjorn after sinking an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th to force extra holes.

However, he pushed his next drive way right into desert scrub from where he needed two shots to get back out onto the fairway. He struck his fourth to 18 feet and missed the bogey putt before conceding the match to Bjorn.

"I had a chance," Woods said after clawing his way back from two down after five holes to go one up after 12. "I had all the momentum going down 18 and just gave it away.

"The ball I should have put in play on 19 and consequently I'm out of here."

Bjorn was gracious in victory.

"The game of golf needs him back at his best," the Dane said. "It was one of those days on the golf course where we're not proud of the way we played, but I'm proud of the way I hung in there."

Poulter's title defence was short-lived. Despite going two up on Cink after 14 holes, he watched his opponent sink several key putts before losing on the 19th green.

"He putted me off the golf course today," the flamboyant Englishman said after becoming the first defending champion in nine years to go out in the opening round.

"That's what you have to do in this format. I did it last year and managed to go all the way. This year I missed my chances and therefore I have been punished."

Stricker had been one up on Manassero after nine holes but made a premature exit from the tournament when the teenager rolled in a 21-foot birdie putt at the 17th.

"It's a big achievement for me," said the Italian, the youngest player ever to compete in the Match Play event.

"I played really well. I achieved a victory against one of the best players in the world and a past champion."

In other matches, US Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hammered American Heath Slocum 4&3, Irishman Rory McIlroy swept aside American Jonathan Byrd 4&2 and Briton Justin Rose won a tight battle with American Zach Johnson 2&1.

South African Ernie Els came from three down after three holes to beat American Jeff Overton on the 19th green and Ryan Palmer reached the second round with a surprise two-up win against fellow American Jim Furyk. — Reuters


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