Viva Malaysia make Thomas Cup Finals on merit
Malaysia have made the Thomas Cup Finals on merit after another impressive performance to whip Hong Kong China 3-0 in the quarter-finals in the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships.
And the Malaysians who have been improving with every match rode on victories by Lee Chong Wei in the first singles followed by Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong in the first doubles before local hero Lee Zii Jia in the second singles.
Chong Wei paved the way with a 21-15, 22-20 win over Angus Ng Ka Long while former world No 1 V Shem-Wee Kiong needed only 28 minutes to tame Or Chin Chung-Tang Chun Man for the second point.
Then it was the hard smashing 19-year-old Alor Setar who thrilled the packed stadium to outgun the experienced Vincent Wong Wing Ki 21-16, 21-15 to deliver the winning point and unassailable 3-0 lead.
Malaysia will play top seeds China. The Chinese defeated India 3-1. Others who made the semi-finals are Indonesia and South Korea. Indonesia beat Japan 3-0 while the Koreans beat Thailand 3-1 to vie for a place in the final.
The semi-finalists in the Asian Championships will automatically qualify for the this year's Thomas Cup Finals which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand in May.
Meanwhile, defending champions Indonesia are also through to the last four after a 3-0 win over Japan.
Anthony Ginting delivered the winning point for the champions with a 21-23, 21-14, 21-17 in a three-game thriller over Kazumasa Sakai in the second singles.
In the first singles Jonatan Christie also won a three-game thriller 21-11, 20-22, 21-13 against Kenta Nishimoto which lasted 58 minutes.
Indonesia fielded a scratch doubles pair of Mohammad Ahsan-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and surprised top Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 21-17, 21-15 in only 33 minutes. Kevin's regular partner Marcus Fernaldi Gideon who was rested for fatigue.
Indonesia's high performance and management head Susi Susanti described the win as "impressive" for the defending champions.
"We have to forget that we are the winners of the last championships. Instead we should be focused on our mission in Alor Setar," said Susi, who won the women's singles gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
China lost their first singles when Shi Yuqi fell to a 21-14, 16-21, 7-21 defeat to K. Srikanth. However, He Jiting-Tan Qiang put China back on track with a 21-17, 21-18 win over Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty.
Qiao Bin defeated B. Sai Praneeth 9-21, 21-11, 21-17 in the second singles before Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong sealed the match with a 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 win over Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy in the second doubles.
RESULTS (QUARTER FINALS, (Feb 8)
Malaysia beat Hong Kong China 3-0
MS1: Lee Chong Wei beat Angus Ng Ka Long 21-15, 22-20
MD1: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong beat Or Chin Chung-Tang Chun Man 21-11, 21-16
MS2: Lee Zii Jia beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki 21-16, 21-15
China beat India 3-1
MS1: Shi Yuqi lost to K. Srikanth 21-14, 16-21, 7-21
MD1: He Jiting-Tan Qiang beat Satwiksairaj Renkireddy-Chirag Shetty 21-17, 21-18
MS2: Qiao Bin beat B. Sai Praneeth 9-21, 21-11, 21-17
MD2: Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong beat Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy 14-21, 21-19, 21-14
Korea beat Thailand 3-1
MS1: Son Wan-ho beat Khosit Phetpradab 15-21, 12-21
MD1: Kittinupong Kedren-Dechapol Puavaranukroh lost to Kim Won-ho-Seo Seung-jae 21-16, 15-21, 21-16
MS2: Jeon Hyeok-jin beat Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-15, 21-14
MD2: Choi Solgyu-Kim Dukyoung beat Tinn Isriyanet-Kittisak Namdash 21-12, 13-21, 23-21
Indonesia beat Japan 3-0
MS1: Jonatan Christie beat Kenta Nishimoto 21-11, 20-22, 21-13
MD1: Mohammad Ahsan-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 21-17, 21-15
MS2: Anthony Ginting beat Kazumasa Sakai 21-23, 21-14, 21-17