Manila: Malaysia’s men’s team has no problem beating Kazakhstan 5-0 in the opening tie of the Asian Team Championship in Manila, Philippines, on Wednesday.
The victory allowed Malaysia booking a spot in the quarter-finals and will play India for the champion of Group B.
Malaysia’s World No. 14 men’s singles player, Lee Zii Jia, said Malaysian players were using the tie against Kazakhstan to try to get used to the court and atmosphere of the stadium.
“I am trying to get ready for the tie against India. I really hope our team could give a good fight against India,” said Lee, who beat Dmitriy Panarin, 21-6, 21-12.
Meanwhile, Cheam June Wei made it 2-0 after defeating Artur Niyazov 21-15, 21-11.
Third men’s singles Leong Jun Hao sealed the victory by outlasting Khaitmurat Kulmatov 21-13, 21-13 in 26 minutes.
The first men’s doubles match saw World No. 8 Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik then eased past Artur Niyazov/Dmitriy Panarin 21-11, 21-11, while Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Rumsani eliminated Nikita Bragin/Khaitmurat Kulmatov 21-9, 21-4.
In the tie against India, the coaching director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann hoped that Malaysia could win at least one point in the men’s singles event and score two points in the two men’s doubles events.
The Indian team will surely put up their strongest line up including World No. 11 B Sai Praneeth, World No. 15 K Srikanth and World No. 27 HS Prannoy for the men’s singles in the tie against Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s women’s team will open the tournament against Japan to determine the champion of Group W, below is the lineup for both Japan and Malaysia:
Women’s Singles 1 Akane Yamaguchi vs. Soniia Cheah
Women’s Doubles 1 Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota vs. Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean
Women’s Singles 2 Sayaka Takahashi vs. Goh Jin Wei
Women’s Doubles 2 Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida vs. Tan Pearly Koong Le/Thinaah Muralitharan
Women’s Singles 3 Aya Ohori vs Kisona Selvaduray