Malaysian pair Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei defeated Japan’s Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 during the New Zealand Open GP. Pix source:

KUALA LUMPUR: Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei finally ended their six year title drought they came out tops in the New Zealand Open GP Gold final on Sunday

The Malaysian women's pair - whose previous Open title was the Indonesia GP in 2011 - silenced their critics, when they clawed back from a game down to see off Japan's Ayako Sakuramoto-Yukiko Takahata 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland.

Vivian-Khe Wei, can now breathe a huge sigh of relief, as they shift their focus next towards the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games (KL2017) this month, where they are expected to retain Malaysia's gold medal in the women's doubles event.

"I am speechless, we wanted to win this title badly and we did it," said a jubilant Hoo said when contacted.

"We have not won a tournament in such a long time and now we can finally breathe easy. The feeling to end a wait is something I really cannot describe.

"The timing of the victory is also perfect. We are competing in the Sea Games this month, and this win here will definitely help us go a long way, especially where confidence is concerned."

The Malaysian No 1 women's duo, won their maiden Sea Games crown in 2013 (Myanmar), but played second fiddle to teammates Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho in the following regional sports edition in Singapore two years ago.

Following their Sea Games success in Myanmar, Vivian-Khe Wei went on to win the women's doubles gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games before bringing home the bronze medal from the Incheon Asian Games, the same year.

After the final yesterday, Vivian-Khe Wei pocketed US$9,480 (RM40,500) in prize money, while their Japanese counterparts settled for US$4,560 ( RM19,500).

Meanwhile in the men's doubles final, national No 2 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi ran out of steam, failing to make it a double for Malaysia when they went down in straight games 21-16, 21-18 to top seeds Chen Hung Ling-Wang Chi Lin of Taiwan.


Men's singles: Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hkg) bt Wang Tzu Wei (Tai) 11-21, 21-15, 22-20;

Doubles: Chen Hung Ling-Wang Chi Lin (Tai) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 21-16, 21-18;

Women's singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Saena Kawakami (Jpn) 21-14, 16-21, 21-15;

Doubles: Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei bt Ayako Sakuramoto-Yukiko Takahata 18-21, 21-16, 21-19;

Mixed doubles: Ronald Ronald-Annisa Saufika (Ina) bt Sawan Serasinghe-Setyana Mapasa (Nzl) 21-19, 21-14.

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