Thomas Cup: Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen target mouth-watering last Group D duel

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Lee Chong Wei and Viktor Axelsen take center stage at Thomas Cup Finals on Wednesday.
Lee Chong Wei and Viktor Axelsen take center stage at Thomas Cup Finals on Wednesday.

Bangkok: Lee Chong Wei who received a day rest on Tuesday has readied himself to lead Malaysia’s charge against defending champions Denmark in their last Group D clash and Lee will likely take on reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen in the first men’s singles match.

The Malaysian men’s team and the 2016 Thomas Cup champions Denmark team had already booked their places in the quarter-finals by beating Algeria and Russia 5-0 respectively on Tuesday.

But both Lee Chong Wei and Viktor Axelsen needed to seal the deal for Malaysia and Denmark on Wednesday, securing the top spot in group stage to have a better chance of playing a weaker opponent in the knockout stage.

Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia who took Lee Chong Wei’s place on Tuesday, eased past Youcef Sabri Medel 21-16, 21-13 to win the first point against Algeria.

Iskandar Zulkarnain and Leong Jun Hao also easily defeated their rivals to give Malaysia a 3-0 victory.

Malaysia’s men’s doubles pair Mohamad Arif Latif/Teo Ee Yi then outlasted Koceila Mammer/Youcef Sabri 21-12, 21-10, while second men’s pair Aaron Chia/Wooi Yik Soh overcame Mahamed Abderrahime/Adel Hamek 21-11, 21-15.

With Viktor Axelsen spearheading Denmark’s effort, Malaysia face an uphill task to overcome the defending champions who will also enjoy raucous support from the badminton fans in Bangkok.

The match against Denmark begins at 7pm Malaysian time on Wednesday.

Here is the potential line-up for both teams on Wednesday:

First men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) vs Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
First men’s doubles: Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong vs Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding (Denmark)
Second men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia)vs Hans-kristian Solberg Vittinghus (Denmark)
Second men’s doubles: Mohamad Arif Ab Latif Arif/Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia) vs Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark)
Third men’s singles: Iskandar Zulkarnain (Malaysia) vs Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark)

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