Top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia easily beat compatriot Wong Choong Hann in the inaugural badminton Super Series Masters Finals yesterday.
Lee hardly broke sweat, needing only 23 minutes to dispose of the aging Wong 21-14, 21-13.
The Olympic silver medalist was due to take on a tougher opponent, Denmark’s Peter Gade, in another Group A match late yesterday.
Gade beat Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-15, 21-17.
The season-ending Super Series Masters Finals began yesterday in Kota Kinabalu in the eastern state of Sabah. It offers a total purse of US$500,000.
Group B was where the action was, with a thriller between Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat, which eventually saw Kuncoro clinch victory.
Hidayat, returning to the game only a week after suffering a wrist injury, delighted the crowd with a 25-23 win in the first game, but Kuncoro had it easy in the second, winning 21-14. Kuncoro won the deciding game 21-11.
Meanwhile No. 3 seed Joachim Persson of Denmark beat eighth seed Andrew Smith of England 21-14, 14-21, 21-12.
In the men’s doubles Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae of South Korea beat England’s Chris Adcock and Robert Blair in three sets while Koo Kien Kiat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia earned a straight sets victory against Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
In the women’s singles, third-seeded Wang Chen of Hong Kong caused a stir when she beat compatriot and top seed Zhou Mi 21-12, 21-15 in a Group A match.
Xu Huaiwen of Germany beat Yu Hirayama of Japan.
In the women’s doubles Indonesians Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa beat Thailand’s Duang Anong and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-16, 21-18.
Staying home during a national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is like “nirvana” for cricketers, as they generally have to live out of a suitcase, Australia head coach Justin Langer said yesterday. Australian cricket is in its off-season and has been largely insulated from the effects of the outbreak, which has suspended all of the country’s major sporting competitions that run during the autumn and winter. Some Australian players are signed with teams in the Indian Premier League, but the lucrative Twenty20 tournament has been postponed at least until the middle of next month and might end up being scrapped like
SCHEDULE CONFLICTS: While new dates have not been announced, somewhere around this year’s original dates would conflict with other major sports events next year The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said yesterday, before predicting the completion of “a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games.” “Our mission is to organize Games and make [the] dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said, adding that although the Olympics must be held before the end of summer next year, the as-yet-undecided dates would not necessarily be restricted to summer months. Japanese yesterday awoke to the deflating reality that the Olympics they had hoped to host in Tokyo this summer were now probably 16 months away. The IOC
NECESSARY SACRIFICE: ’We’re obviously in a high-cost, high-revenue industry and when the revenue dies, you’re left with high costs, so it’s a no-brainer,’ Ian Foster said All Blacks head coach Ian Foster yesterday said that he would take a pay cut and players would follow suit as New Zealand Rugby cuts expenses while professional competitions are shuttered during the COVID-19 outbreak. In a radio interview, Foster confirmed that he and other coaches had agreed to substantial pay cuts as long as New Zealand Rugby’s revenues are affected. He did not give a percentage figure. “Our coaching group has definitely taken a big cut,” Foster told radio Newstalk ZB. “It’s already been agreed to.” “With rugby, when there’s no games there’s no revenue and that’s a tough thing,” Foster said.
From perfecting pizza dough to fermenting tea, rugby players in Europe have found various ways to pass their time during the lockdown forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia international Scott Higginbotham, who plays for Bordeaux-Begles, has been busy in his kitchen during the confinement period, which started in France on March 17. “My wife and I take turns in going out, and doing a bit of exercise and a lot of cooking. Every meal is made from scratch,” Higginbotham told reporters last week. “I made my own pizza dough the other day, which was quite nice. I do love pizza,