Lee Chong Wei gets Malaysia off to good start in Thomas Cup

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Lee Chong Wei signs autographs for fans after his men's singles match. (photo: AFP)

Kunshan: Lee Chong Wei gave Malaysia the good start they had hoped for in their Thomas Cup tie against England by beating Toby Penty 21-15, 21-11 Sunday evening. England surprisingly decided to sit out Rajiv Ouseph, the number one ranked male badminton player in England to give him more rest before their next Thomas Cup tie against Korea on Monday.Lee Chong Wei signs autographs for fans after his men's singles match. (photo: AFP)

Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, the Malaysian No.1 men’s doubles pair then defeated their opponents Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge comfortably, breezing past the British pair 21-12, 21-17 in 40 minutes.

Malaysia have rested Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin from the opening day of the tie against England. Chong Wei Feng who substitute Zainuddin in the second men’s singles didn’t disappoint and showed he still has enough left in the tank to play in Thomas Cup by outlasting Sam Parsons 21-10, 21-10 to clinch the winning point for Malaysia with overall score of 3-0.

In the match that had no impact for the outcome of the tie, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong went down to Peter Briggs/Tom Wolfenden 18-21, 21-13, 17-21.

Malaysia’s third men’s singles shuttler Goh Soon Huat did everything he could to conclude the tie 4-1 in favor of Malaysia by seeing off Alex Lane 21-15, 19-21, 21-13 in a harder than expected match.

Malaysia will face Germany in their second Group C tie on Monday.

On the other hand, Malaysia’s women went down 5-0 to top seeded China in their first Group A tie of the Uber Cup finals held at Kunshan Sports Centre on Sunday.

Despite the loss, there were several bright spots in the Malaysian women’s team.

Playing against the World No. 3 women’s doubles pair from China, World No. 21 Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei showed high fighting spirit before going down 11-21, 21-14, 18-21 in 56 minutes. After dropping the first set, Hoo/Woon fought back to seal the second game at 21-14. Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei was leading at 18-11 in the decider before their unforced errors started to creep up late in the decider as they failed to convert a point for Malaysia by losing 11-21, 21-14, 18-21.

Malaysia’s prodigious talent 17-year-old Goh Jin Wei, showed her capability of withstanding the most intense pressure and playing sublime badminton even at the height of tension. She had caused a lot of headaches for World No. 4 women’s singles shutter Wang Yihan before bowing out 21-16, 21-14.

The Malaysian Uber cup team will next play Denmark on Tuesday in their quest to at least reach the quarter-finals of the Uber Cup Finals tournament.

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