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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK

Malaysia tipped for 1-2-3

By Mike Burnett
BBC Sport Online at Bolton Arena

Malaysia look firm favourites to grab a one-two-three on the podium in the men's singles after taking the top spots in the seedings at the Commonwealth Games.

Defending champion Wong Choong Hann is number one seed in the event with compatriot Lee Tsuen Seng seeded second and other team-mate Hashim Muhammad Hasif taking the third spot.

Wong faces a potentially tough challenge in the quarter-final, where he could play against 2001 All England champion Pullella Gopichand.

The Indian will be seeking revenge against his Malaysian rival, who beat him in the semi-final four years ago and left him with bronze.

Welsh medal hope Richard Vaughan is also seeded to reach the semi-final, but will have overcome some difficult opponents on the way, including Singapore's Ronald Susilo, seeded ninth, and Manchester local lad Colin Haughton, who is the seventh seed.

In the women's draw, Australia's Lenny Permana tops the seeds, but faces powerful opposition from the Home Nations in the form of Wales' Kelly Morgan and Tracey Hallam of England.

Awkward challenge

Indonesian-born Permana, who was received her Australian citizenship less than 24 hours before being selected for the Commonwealth Games squad, may also face an awkward challenge from first round opponent Aparna Popat from India.

Popat grabbed silver at Kuala Lumpur four years ago and will be hoping to upset the odds this time round too.

Defending champion Morgan, seeded second, must overcome Li Li of Siongapore and England's Julia Mann in order to reach the final.

But many are expecting Malaysia's Wong Miew Choo to be the surprise package of the women's event.

Malaysia have also taken the top spot in the men's doubles with Chew Choon Eng and Chan Chong Ming seeded first.

New partnership

But Britain's Olympic medallist Simon Archer may pose a challenge to them with his new partner James Anderson of England in the semi-finals.

England's top pair Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark will have to beat defending champion Choong Tan Fook and Chang Kim Wai if they are to reach the final.

Sara Sankey and Ella Miles, ranked 12th in the world, are tipped to take the women's doubles title, while compatriots Joanne Goode and Gail Emms are strong contenders in the bottom half of the draw.

Robertson teams up with Emms in the mixed doubles and will be favourites for gold after recently winning the Malaysian Open, beating Olympics silver medallists Archer and Goode on the way.

The singles and doubles events get under way on Wednesday 31 July.


Singles seeds - men:
1. Wong Choong Hann (MAS); 2. Lee Tsuen Seng (MAS); 3. Hashim Muhd Hasif (MAS).

Women:
1. Lenny Permana (AUS); 2. Kelly Morgan (WAL); 3. Tracey Hallam (ENG).

Doubles seeds - men:
1. Chew Choon Eng & Chan Chong Ming (MAS); 2. Daniel Shirley & John Gordon (NZL).

Women:
1. Sara Sankey & Ella Miles (ENG); 2. Rhona Robertson & Tammy Jenkins (NZL).

Mixed:
1. Nathan Robertson & Gail Emms (ENG); 2. Daniel Shirley & Sara Runesten-Petersen (NZL).


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