KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 -- The national Thomas Cup squad tumbled to a 0-3 defeat to Japan in the semi-final of the Thomas Cup Asian Zone Qualifying Round in Macau, China today.
Despite losing to Japan, the Thomas Cup squad qualified for the Final Round in Wuhan, China in May when they defeated India 3-0 in the quarterfinal yesterday.
Without world number one singles player Datuk Lee Chong Wei, the team could not muster a point from Japan.
It is understood, Chong Wei is now resting before starting his preparation for the All-England Badminton Championship from March 6-11.
Former All-England champion, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim failed to deliver the first point when he lost to world number six Sho Sasaki 19-21, 16-21 in 36 minutes.
The national doubles pair of Lim Kim Wah/Goh V Shem were demolished 11-21,21-11 and 18-21 by Japan's best pair of Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata.
World No. 7 singles player, Kenichi Tago ended the fight when he overcame Liew Daren 30-28,21-19 in 60 minutes.
The national squad is scheduled to meet Indonesia for the third/fourth placing playoff tomorrow.