Malaysian shuttlers narrowly defeat Hong Kong team in Thomas Cup Preliminary Round
Malaysian squad had to struggle hard to beat Hong Kong shuttlers who put up strong resistance in a Group D match at the Thomas Cup Preliminary Round, on Tuesday, February 14, in Macau. Malaysia emerged as the winner in this team-event encounter with a tight margin of 3-2.
On paper, Malaysian players were quite strong and no one could have expected for such a tough resistance from Hong Kong squad. However, Malaysia remained lucky in winning the match with a 3-2 margin on the board.
The World Number One Lee Chong Wei also remained struggling in the opening clash of Men’s Singles against the World Number 21 Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong.
However, Chong Wei managed to win the match in straight games with a tight margin.
Wing Ki showed his class by troubling his higher ranked opponent in both games. However, Chong Wei played dominating badminton in the ending points and won the match with a narrow difference of 21-18 and 22-20.
The second match was in the category of Men’s Doubles where the World Number Six Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong showed there impressive skills and lived up to the expectations.
Kien Keat and Boon Heong did not face any considerable resistance from Hong Kong’s Lok Kei Lo and Chun Yiu Leung and won the match in straight games with an incredible margin of 21-9 and 21-14.
In the following Men’s Singles contest, Malaysia’s Muhammad Hafiz Hashim could not live up to the expectations as he failed to get rid of Hong Kong’s Hu Yun.
Hafiz tried his best to overpower his rival but could not prove his worth and lost the match in straight sets with a 20-22 and 18-21 score on the board.
In the second Men’s Doubles battle, Malaysia’s Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem outplayed Wai Hong Wong and Chun Hei Lee and won the match in straight games with a margin of 21-14 and 21-16.
The final fight was between Malaysia’s Daren Liew and Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit. The Malaysian won the opening game but failed to maintain his winning run and lost the remaining both games.
Daren lost the match with a 21-17, 16-21 and 19-21 score on the board.
Malaysian shuttlers narrowly won their first match in Group D with a 3-2 margin but their quivering performance is quite alarming as they cannot beat South Korea with this performance.
Malaysians need to play elevated game as Korean shuttlers are more skilled and experienced as compared to Hong Kong squad.