Malaysia go down to Japan 2-3 in group stage, to play Japan again in Sudirman Cup knock out stage

Lee Chong Wei needs stronger supporting cast from the the Malaysian team.
Lee Chong Wei needs stronger supporting cast from the the Malaysian team.

Gold Coast: Throughout the week, the Malaysian camp including the players, the coaches and the staff were all saying the team was in high spirit, but the Malaysian team had a reality check on Wednesday where they went down 2-3 to Japan in the last Group 1C tie.

Rio Olympic men’s doubles silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong failed to clinch the first point for their team after a 21-18, 17-21, 16-21 loss in 60 minutes.

Malaysia’s women’s singles player Goh Jin Wei was obviously not at the same level of Akane Yamaguchi, when Goh bowed out 6-21, 17-21 to the Japanese player.

It was Lee Chong Wei who kept the Sudirman Cup tie alive against Japan with a complete demolition of Yu Igarashi 21-8 and 21-5 in the men’s singles match.

Although Malaysia’s women’s doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean put up a good fight, but world No. 1 Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi proved too good for the Malaysian pair, winning the match 21-17, 21-18 to wrap up the tie 3-1 for Japan.

Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing then contributed the second point for Malaysia by outlasting Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino in a gritty three-set match with 21-16, 16-21, 21-19.

Nevertheless, the two team will have another chance to take on each other again on Friday, after they were drawn to face each other in the quarter-final.

The Group D champions Denmark will meet Thailand, and Korea will clash with Chinese Taipei on Thursday; while India will play China on Friday.


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