New Delhi: Things weren’t looking good for Malaysia’s Thomas Cup team after Tan Boon Heong/Hoon Thien How lost to Yoo Yeon Seong/Lee Yong Dae 19-21, 19-21 in the first men’s doubles. With this win, Malaysia and Korea were tied at 1-1 after Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia won the first point against Son Wan-ho 21-17, 21-17 in an earlier match.
Malaysia’s chances of defeating Korea looked even dimmer when its second singles Chong Wei Feng dropped the first set to Lee Dong Keun 19-21. However, the resilient Chong Wei Feng was not ready to go home early yet, he made some adjustments in the second set to play better court control, more high quality shots and made less mistake; he scored several critical points after the second set was tied at 16-16 to hold off the Korean at 21-17 and force a deciding game. In third set, Wei Feng rallied to an incredible comeback over Lee Dong Keun to win it at 21-14.
In some ways, the second doubles match was expected to be a David vs. Goliath contest, scratch pair Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem was an unranked pair, while
Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang is ranked world no 4. But what turned out yesterday was a battle of equals, Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem put on a show with fierce smashing and Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang just couldn’t adapt to their style of playing. The Malaysian duo manages to defeat the Korean pair 21-17, 21-19 in 40 minutes to seal the victory for Malaysia as the champion of Group C.
The victory was a perfect birthday gift for Goh V Shem who turned 25 on Tuesday and Wee Kiong who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday.
“We played with a lot of energy and confident today; it was a good fight against the Korean. We’ll let the coaches to decide if we will play together again,” said Tan Wee Kiong.
“I am happy win the win today, with this win, we are able to avoid teams like China or Indonesia in last eight. We still need to stay focused and try to make it to the semi-finals tomorrow,” said World No. 1, Lee Chong Wei.
Malaysia will face Denmark in the Thomas Cup quarter finals tomorrow.