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January 12, 2005

DEAFLYMPICS: Gloomy day for shuttlers, hurdlers

From: New Straits Times, Malaysia - Jan 12, 2005

By Tony Mariadass

Jan 12:

MELBOURNE was bathed in sunshine yesterday with the temperature reaching a scorching 38C but it was all gloom forthe Malaysian badminton squad and hurdlers.

Malaysia's badminton medal hope, Thomas Teh Chiang Hock, failed to make the quarter-finals when an old heel injury acted up in his second round match against Korea's Woo Choi.

Thomas, who in the morning was given a walkover in the Group L round-robin match by Pakistan's Ashfaq Haider, went on to beat Bulgaria's Dimitar Jarchev 15-1, 15-1 in the first round knockout match.

In the second round match, Thomas lost the first game 8-15, but came back strongly in the second to lead 11-9 when he suddenly hobbled out of the court pointing to his heel.

Thomas continued play but the pain was too much to bear and Woo took advantage of his limping opponent to win 15-12.

The other three players — Yeo Kok Fang, Wu Wai Loon and Kok Fook Seong — despite qualifying for the knockout stage from their respective groups, were all bundled out in their respective first round knockout matches.

Fook Seong lost to India's G. Muchhal 15-7, 17-15, 15-7, Wai Loon crashed to Germany's O. Witte 15-2, 15-0, and Fook Soong fell to Japan's Tomotumi Kobori 15-8, 15-11. Doubles play starts today and if Thomas' heel is better, he partner Wai Loon, while Kok Fang and Fook Soong team up.

Thomas-Wai Loon, seeded second, have a first round bye, but Kok Fang-Fook Soong will play Ghana's Bismark Boadi and Geroge Tagoe in their first round match.

On the track, Wan Mohd Hirawan Wan Hassan, tipped to win a medal in his pet 400m hurdles, fizzled out without even a fight yesterday.

Starting in Lane 1, Hirawan was never in the race and it was no surprise he finished last in a poor time of 63.16. Ukarine made a 1-2 with Oleksandr Khodakov winning in 53.97 from Andriy Pankraov, who clocked 54.00. Charles Blackmon of the US took the bronze in 56.48.

Zana Azizul Ujang, bronze medallist in the 110m hurldes, was in the race for another bronze but in a desperate attempt to deny Blackmon the broze, knocked the last hurdle. Zana clocked a personal best of 57.81.

In the pool today, Jimmy Wong Tee Meng will be in action in the 400m individual medley and will be looking to make up for his disapoinment in the 200m individual medley in which he failed to win a medal because he was racing the B finals.

Jimmy, 22, has vowed to make the A final today. The bowlers will competing in the first block of the five-man team event.

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