KUALA LUMPUR: After securing their place in the Thomas Cup through a stylish win over South Korea on Friday, the national men’s badminton team have made their way into the final of the 2020 Asian Team Badminton Championship with a stunning 3-0 victory over Japan in the semi-finals.
Men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia picked up the first point with a 21-11, 8-21, 21-11 victory over world number 10 Kanta Tsuneyama in an hour-long duel at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Manila, according to https://bwf.tournamentsoftware.com.
World number eight pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik then secured Malaysia’s second point, setting aside Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi 21-18, 21-15 in just 35 minutes.
Buoyed by the lead and his teammates’ scintillating performances, junior singles player Cheam June Wei battled it out with world number 13 Kento Nishimoto before defeating him 21-19, 3-21, 21-12 and securing Malaysia’s winning point in just under an hour.
The final tomorrow will see Malaysia take on defending champions Indonesia, who endured a hard-fought 3-2 win over India in another semi-final.
Earlier, the national women’s squad which had also qualified for the 2020 Uber Cup, were defeated 0-3 by Japan in the women’s semi-finals.
Soniia Cheah lost 17-21, 18-21 to Akane Yamaguchi, followed by Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng Wen’s 11-21, 4-21 defeat to Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota before Kisona Selvaduray fell 13-21, 13-21 to Sayaka Takahashi.
At the 2018 edition of the tournament held in Alor Setar, Kedah, the national men’s team were joint third-place finishers with South Korea while the women’s side lost in the semi-finals.
The 2020 Thomas Cup and Uber Cup are scheduled to take place in Aarhus, Denmark, in May. – Bernama