ALOR STAR: Malaysia’s hopes of reaching the Badminton Asia Team Championships quarter-finals as group winners failed to materialise when they went down 3-2 to Thailand in the final Group Y tie on Thursday here at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium.
Despite all that, the shuttlers have vowed to give their all against South Korea in the last eight tomorrow.
According to top national women’s singles Soniia Cheah, the team will revisit the tie against Thailand with their coaches, to bounce back stronger in the hope of reaching the last four tomorrow.
“I did not play well today. It just wasn’t my game as I couldn’t find my rhythm. Clearly my opponent was in the driving seat,” said Soniia, who went down 21-14, 21-15 to Nitchaon Jindapol in the first match.
Women’s doubles shuttler Vivian Hoo reiterated that the national team made the trip, with the readiness to face anybody regardless of the outcome.
Vivian, who was scratched to partner Tee Jing Yi, instead of her regular partner Woon Khe Wei, levelled the score at 1-1, when they beat Chayanit Chaladchalam-Phataimas Muenwong 21-19, 16-21, 21-15.
“Of course we are ready to take on anybody. We have to feel this way in every match, because we are playing on home soil,” added Jing Yi, who turned 27 today.
Malaysia’s second scratch pair Chow Mei Kuan-Goh Yea Ching, also put up a superb show to upset Puttita Supajirakul-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-15, 21-15.
“There is still a lot for me to learn, but my game has improved. I, like my teammates, am ready for the quarter-finals,” said Yea Ching.
Malaysia, however, failed to top the group after both the remaining women’s singles lost in their respective matches.
Former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei went down in straight games 21-19, 21-17 to Pornpawee Chochuwong, while Lim Yin Fun fought gallantly before losing 23-21, 22-20 to former Sea Games gold medallist Busanan Ongbamrungphan.