Malaysia Claims Maiden Men’s Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) Title

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Malaysia wins the 2022 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) title. (photo: Bernama)
Malaysia wins the 2022 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) title. (photo: Bernama)

Shah Alam: Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Ng Tze Yong guided Malaysia to the country’s first-ever Men’s Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) title, beating their respective opponents in the 2022 BATC final against Indonesia on Sunday.

Technically, Malaysia has won the tournament in 1962, and 1965. That tournament was started by Badminton Asia in 1962 and was being held inconsistently with rotation of men’s team and individual events. The men’s team competition was axed after 1993 and was re-introduced by Badminton Asia in 2016. The tournament has since been renamed “Badminton Asia Team Championships” in 2016, and Indonesia has won 2016, 2018, 2020 editions until Malaysia took the title from Indonesia in the 2022 edition.

In the men’s team final on Sunday, Malaysia’s first men’s singles Lee Zii Jia got off to a slow start, lost the first set 14-21 to Dwi Wardoyo Chico Aura. The World No. 7 from Malaysia managed to force a decider by winning the second game easily with 21-12.

Lee raised his level higher in the decider, at 5-2, Lee quickly opened a 17-9 advantage before winning the third-set 21-10 and clinched the first point for Malaysia.

“I still can’t 100% resolve my inconsistency problem on the court. But I was able to control the second and third set better,” said Lee.

“Chico and I came from the same batch of players. He defeated me in the semi-finals of the World Junior, and won the silver,” added Lee. Dwi Wardoyo Chico Aura lost to Sun Feixiang of China in the 2016 World Junior boys’ singles final.

Malaysia’s Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles bronze medalists Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik who took the court next, squandered a 17-15 lead in the first set allowing Indonesia’s 2019 World Junoir Champions – Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin to win the first game 21-17. After the first game, the regrouped Chia/Soh won the next two 21-13, 21-18 to contribute the second point for Malaysia.

“Although we lost the first game, we kept focusing on our rhythm and game plan in the second game,” said Soh.

“It’s not our best game, but we tried our best,” added Soh.

“The close games against Korea and Indonesia and our lost to Japan showed that we still have a lot of room for improvement,” said Chia after the match.

In the second men’s singles match that followed, Ng Tze Yong stunned Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay 21-14, 21-15 to seal the deal for Malaysia.

Malaysia became the second nation to win the title since the relaunched of “Badminton Asia Team Championships” in 2016.

In another interview with Malaysian media after the final, Lee Zii Jia also urged the Malaysian team to continue to work hard and get ready for the Thomas Cup Finals that will take place in Bangkok in May.

“We can celebrate the victory for a few days, but we shouldn’t be too complacent, because many countries only sending their second-tier players to the tournament, and Malaysia is only playing with our normal performance,” said Lee.

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