PETALING JAYA: It isn’t over till the fat lady sings but the Malaysian Uber Cup team can start rehearsing for a chorus of disappointment.
Their hopes of reaching the Finals via the playoffs are almost dashed after suffering a 2-3 loss to Hong Kong yesterday.
The doubles pairs of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty and Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo delivered but the singles performers – Tee Jing Yi, Lydia Cheah and Sannatasah Saniru – failed to launch again.
The Malaysian team have two more ties – against Indonesia today and Singapore tomorrow – but their chances of earning the last Finals berth as the fifth best team at the qualifiers are virtually over.
Despite the setback, national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky gave his girls credit for saving Malaysia the blushes by winning two points.
He hopes they can keep the momentum going after the qualifiers.
He wants Eei Hui-Pei Tty, Liu Ying-Yin Loo and Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei to start winning some titles to show they have arrived on the world stage.
“It’s good to see the women’s doubles pairs playing with more confidence. They are also enjoying their game,” said Rexy.
“They must keep this going and focus on winning Grand Prix Gold or Super Series titles. They must be ambitious and try to get into the world’s top 10.”
Currently, Eeu Hui-Pei Tty are ranked 14th in the world, followed by Khe Wei-Vivian at No. 19.
And it won’t be too long before the 125th Liu Ying-Yin Loo break into the top 20 if they keep improving.
However, urgent steps need to be taken to add more depth in the women’s singles.
The emergence of Yang Li Lian, who won Malaysia the tie against India in Group A, is something to cheer for but she needs to be given more exposure.
It’s also time for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to review Lydia’s position as she failed to win a single match.
Her back injury may be a factor but her poor form is indeed a cause for concern.
Meanwhile, top seeds China take on Japan in the final today.
China trounced Taiwan 3-0 but Japan had to thank youngster Minatsu Mitani as she staged a great fightback against Sapsiree Taerattanachai to help her team edge Thailand 3-2 in the semi-finals.