KUALA LUMPUR: There was only heartbreak for Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong when a late surge failed to prevent them from crashing out of the Super Series Finals at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.
World No. 8 Thien How-Wee Kiong needed a win against South Korea’s Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang to book their semi-final spot.
Instead, a poor start put paid to their hopes despite a fighting 18-21, 20-22 loss to Ki-jung-Sa-rang.
Still, Thien How-Wee Kiong, who defeated All-England champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan on Thursday, can walk tall as their fighting display won over the crowd, who gave them a standing ovation.
“Losing is never nice ... but I’m happy with the level of our performance in this tournament,” said Wee Kiong.
“I think we were too rushed and not patient enough in waiting for the kill.
“But we’re happy that we’re back playing at the top level . It’s good ... but we can definitely still improve.
“Of course, it will be great to play in more tournaments next year because, at times, we lacked that competitive edge.
“But we’ll go back and discuss with our coaches before we start preparing for the new year.”
Ki-jung-Sa-rang’s win means they are likely to finish second in the group, behind Indonesian world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan.
There was also heartbreak for Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa in Group B when they were eliminated after losing to South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae.
The Japanese world No. 4 were in pole position to qualify for the last four after beating defending champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark on Thursday.
But their 13-21, 17-21 loss to the Koreans means they miss out on countback to Boe-Morgensen by just one point. Sung-hyun-Yong-dae top the group.