Saturday, May 1, 2010

Badminton News: Former All-England champ out to win all his third singles matches


KUALA LUMPUR: Singles shuttler Mohd Hafiz Hashim is currently the least popular player in the Thomas Cup squad.

The general impression among the public is that they do not trust Hafiz as the third singles player in the squad for the Finals, which will be held at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from May 9-16.

They may have a point. After all, the former All-England champion has fared miserably on home soil.
Whether he likes it or not, Hafiz knows that the Finals will be the ultimate stage for him to come good and win back the confidence of the public.

And that is exactly what he intends to do.
“This is my fifth Finals appearance and the most challenging one,” said Hafiz after a training session at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.
“The odds are against me. People have a negative perception about me and I do not blame them for that. I wish things were different but I have a challenge now to change their views,” he said.
“I have put in a a lot of effort in my preparation this time. I want to win all my matches as the third singles – that is my goal.”
Hafiz also acknowledged that he could not longer blame the Putra Stadium as a jinxed venue for him.
“Yes, I only have bad memories of this stadium. I used to be troubled by the strong draught in the stadium. But this can no longer be used as an excuse,” he said.
“In fact, I cannot remember any outstanding achievement from me on home soil. It’s time to change all that.”
Hafiz also said that it would be a failure if they do not end Malaysia’s 18-year wait for the Cup this time.
“A place in the final will not do for us. This is our home ground and we will have to go all out for the Cup,” he said.
“It is up to me to get the job done if any of the ties are level at 2-2. I did not do a great job two years ago but I am determined to make up for it. I hope this year’s Thomas Cup will be the turning point in my career.”
Hafiz certainly knows what he is talking about. Two years ago, Malaysia and China were tied at 2-2 in the semi-finals in Jakarta and it was up to Hafiz to deliver the winning points. Sadly, he went down to Chen Jin.
This time, as the third singles, he is likely to face some of these players – Danes Joachim Persson or Kenneth Jonassen, Indonesian Simon Santoso, China’s Bao Chunlai or Chen Long and South Korea’s Hong Ji-hoon or Lee Hyun-il.

The good news is that he has beaten all of them before. The bad news, however, is that he has lost to them more often than he has beaten them.

Besides Hafiz and Lee Chong Wei, the others in the Malaysian team are Wong Choong Hann, Tan Chun Seang, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Ong Soon Hock-Hoon Thien How.

Taken from:

1 comment:

  1. You can also catch the Thomas Cup live coverage online for FREE in the first few days - I think from quarterfinals onwards, there's a small fee, but that too, there's a contest available right now, where you can join and get full access, all you need to do is to blog about it! :-)

    Details are here -