Malaysia’s challenge ends after 0-3 loss to Japan at quarterfinals

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Teo Ee Yi's face is marred by sweat and blood during the 2019 Sudirman Cup quarter-final. (photo: AFP)
Teo Ee Yi's face is marred by sweat and blood during the 2019 Sudirman Cup quarter-final. (photo: AFP)

Nanning: Malaysia crashed out of the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championships after losing 0-3 to the top seeds Japan in quarter-finals on Friday.

The Japanese team who also heavy favorite to win the championships, was clearly in the class of its own by featuring some of the badminton’s biggest stars in the lineup on Friday. However, honors should also be given to the Malaysian players, especially the men’s doubles pair, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, in which Teo suffered a deep gash on his chin after he was accidentally hit by his partner Ong’s shoe while they were both rushing to the right baseline to rescue a deep push from Takeshi Kamura.

Although World No. 21 Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi were able to put up a gritty show to challenge the World No. 2 pair of Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, they ultimately went down 21-13, 24-26, 21-23 to the Japanese pair. As Badmintonplanet.com has mentioned few days ago, Malaysian players in general did not have the mental toughness to stay cool, calm, and collected in clutch situations. This was another example of lacking intestinal fortitude and the ability to put anyone away in the crunch time.

Malaysia was behind with 0-2 after World No. 34 Soniia Cheah went down to World No. 2 Nozomi Okuhara 16-21, 13-21.

In the absence of the legendary Lee Chong Wei, still recovering from his early-stage nose cancer, the Malaysians were forced to send World No. 20 Lee Zii Jia against World No. 1 Kento Momota. Momota notched up a 21-18, 21-16 win in 53 minutes as he pretty much led from start to finish in the second set.

Meanwhile, Indonesia relied on their powerful doubles pairs (men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles) to overcome Chinese Taipei 3-2 to advance to the Sudirman Cup semi-finals.

Japan will face Indonesia on Saturday while China will play Thailand in another semi-final tie.

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