Bangkok: Malaysia beat Japan 3-2 to emerge as champions of Group D at the 2022 Thomas Cup Finals on Wednesday.
The Malaysian team changed its lineup on Wednesday by fielding scratch pair – Aaron Chia/Teo Ee Yi in the second men’s doubles match.
Aaron Chia/Teo Ee Yi didn’t dissapoint as they scored the winning point for Malaysia when they saved a game point in the first set, coming from 19-20 to win the game 22-20, and then dominated the second game with a 21-17 win against Akira Koga/Yuta Watanabe.
This was not the first time both Chia/Teo were paired together. They represented Malaysia in the 2018 Thomas Cup Finals and were playing together in the Group D tie against Russia, and Denmark, and also in the quarter-finals against Indonesia.
Earlier, Malaysia’s World No. 6 Lee Zii Jia started the tie against World No. 2 Kento Momota brilliantly. Lee dominated the first game 21-17 and was off to a strong start in the second game to lead at 11-0 before allowing Momota to score a point after the interval. Lee confidently scored the first point for Malaysia after a 21-8 second set win against Momota.
Malaysia’s World No. 13 Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin showed no fear playing against the reigning World Champions and World No. 4 Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, as they overcame the Japanese pair 21-19, 21-16 in the first men’s doubles match.
Japan earned its first point of the tie through World No. 14 Kanta Tsuneyama who defeated World No. 34 Daren Liew 21-16, 22-20 in the second men’s singles match which lasted 60 minutes.
In the third men’s singles match, World No. 124 Leong Jun Hao produced a gallant fight before losing to World No. 20 Kenta Nishimoto 6-21, 21-19, 15-21.
The Malaysian men’s team will face India in the quarter-final on Thursday.
Here’s the 2022 Thomas Cup quarter-finals draw:
1. Chinese Taipei vs. Japan
2. Indonesia vs. China
3. Korea vs. Denmark
4. India vs. Malaysia