Manila: Malaysian shuttlers have entered four out of five finals in the individual events of 2019 SEA Games with exception of women’s doubles.
In men’s singles semi-final, Lee Zii Jia saw off reigning Macau Open champion Sitthikom Thammasin 21-12, 21-9 in 31 minutes to set up a final meeting with Loh Kean Yew of Singapore who outlasted No. 1 seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 16-21, 21-6, 21-9.
Prior to Monday’s final, Lee had defeated Loh twice in 2019, including the first round of Fuzhou China Open on Nov 5 and the 2019 SEA Games men’s team semi-final last Monday.
The men’s doubles semi-final saw Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik withstood a comeback attempt by Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira/Ade Yusuf Santoso of Indonesia in the decider, as the No. 4 seeds Indonesians rallied from 8-13 down to lead at 14-13. Fortunately, Chia/Soh remained calm under pressure to eventually beat the Indonesian pair 21-12, 18-21, 21-19 in 49 minutes. The No. 2 seeds Malaysians will take on Bodin Isara/Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand who defeated another Malaysian pair Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi 21-12, 16-21, 21-19 in the semi-final.
Malaysia’s Selvaduray Kisona earned a chance to defend the women’s singles gold won by Goh Jin Wei in the 2017 SEA Games. Kisona stunned Thailand’s No. 2 seed Nitchaon Jindapol 11-21, 27-25, 21-14 in 62 minutes to set up a final encounter with Indonesian player Ruselli Hartawan on Monday.
Meanwhile, Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai survived a huge scare by beating Rinov Rivaldy/Phita Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia 18-21, 21-11, 24-22 to meet World No. 5 and top seeds Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia in the final.
The women’s doubles became the only event without any representatives from Malaysia as No. 1 seeds Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia will play No. 4 seeds Chayanit Chaladchalam/Phataimas Muenwong of Thailand for the women’s doubles gold medal.