Alor Setar: The Malaysian team has moved into the quarter-finals of the 2018 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) on Thursday by defeating Taiwan 5-0.
In a tie that required Malaysia to score at least 4-1 against Taiwan or to risk being sent home, Lee Chong Wei gave the Malaysians a boost by coming from a set down to beat Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan 17-21, 21-13, 21-15 for first point.
“I lost my focus momentarily in the first set. But I found my rhythm, speeding up my games as I was able to win the next two,” said Lee.
It wasn’t all easy for the Rio Olympic men’s doubles silver medal pair, who lost to Thailand’s first men’s doubles two days ago when they lost the first set against the strong Taiwanese pair Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang 14-21, before bouncing back with 21-19, 16-21 to double Malaysia’s lead to 2-0.
“Taiwan and Thailand have strong men’s doubles pairs. We were under pressure to win a point for the team, and we just keep doing what we have to do,” said Tan after the match.
The 19-year-old Lee Zii Jia then delivered the winning point for the hosts after he overcame Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan 21-16, 21-13.
Malaysia was guaranteed a quarter-final berth after second doubles pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee beat Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han 21-14, 20-22, 21-14, in a 69 minutes battle.
“Although we had won the tie with 3-0, we still need to win the match. Otherwise, if we only came up with a 3-2 victory, we’ll have to rely on the total points earned which could be dangerous to Malaysia,” said Ong.
Malaysia’s third men’s singles player Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin ensured a 5-0 sweep by beating Lin Yu Hsien of Taiwan 21-19, 21-15.
At the end of Thursday, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan have all won two ties and lost one in Group C. Based on the rankings, Malaysia has earned total of 4 points, Thailand earned 0 points, while Taiwan was eliminated with -4 points.
Malaysia has been drawn to play Hong Kong on Friday for a spot in the semi-finals, while Thailand will meet Korea in the quarter-finals.