KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 8 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Super Series Finals very much alive after a stirring performance to stun All England champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan on Thursday.
Thien How-Wee Kiong needed a win after falling to a defeat to world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia on Wednesday.
And they duly got it with a dogged performance against their world No. 5 opponents, winning 18-21, 21-15, 21-13 in their Group A match.
Despite losing the first game, Thien How-Wee Kiong showed lots of determination to turn the second game around.
With the crowd firmly behind them, the Macau Open winners completed the comeback in 62 minutes as the Chinese pair ran out of ideas.
“Honestly, we struggled in the first game because we were trying to perform too hard,” said Wee Kiong.
“We made it worse for ourselves by racking up the error count.
“Luckily we managed to dig ourselves out of trouble in the second and the third game. Our coaches also gave us the right instructions and encouragement.”
With this defeat, Xiaolong-Zihan who now have two defeats are out of the running for the a semi-final spot.
Thien How-Wee Kiong now just need to defeat South Korea’s Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang in their final group match.
The Koreans also have one win and one loss after losing to Ahsan-Setiawan 17-21, 20-22.
“We have never played this Korean pair before so there is a 50-50 chance for us,” said Wee Kiong.
“The Korean pair are higher ranked and stronger but we are confident of pulling off the win.”