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.