Champions Japan and Indonesia march into semis in Badminton Asia Tong Yun Kai Cup
Defending champions Japan kept on track for their successive final in the Badminton Asia Tong Yun Kai Cup with a 3-0 win over Malaysia in their quarter-final match at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wanchai, Hong Kong China on Friday.
Japan will now play third seeds Indonesia in Saturday's semi-finals. The Indonesians, beaten quarter-finalists at the last edition in Ho Chi Minh City in 2017, went one better this time around, brushing aside Singapore also by a 3-0 margin.
Malaysia, however, gave Japan a tough time in the men's doubles for their first point.
Malaysian youngsters Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin once again lacked the sustaining power - falling apart in the second game and the decider after taking the first at 21-19. The Japanese won the next two 21-16, 21-15 in 63 minutes.
Aya Ohori then took the court in the women's singles against Ho Yen Mei. After winning the first game easily at 21-9, Ohori's experience was the turning point as she snuffed out Yen Mei's resistance for a 25-23 win.
Any hopes of a fightback by Malaysia disappeared as Cheam June Wei crumbled in three games in the men's singles -losing 21-13, 21-23, 15-21 to Kanta Tsuneyama in an hour-long battle.
Japan team manager Park Joo Bong, however, is not rating his team's chances in the semi-finals.
"This is not our strongest team. Indonesia has its strength and I would rate it as a 50-50 chance for both teams," said Joo Bong.
Indonesia made the last four but surprise quarter-finalists Singapore, who beat sixth seeds India 3-2 in the group again showed tremendous fighting spirit before bowing out.
In the men's doubles, Singapore's scratch pair Loh Kean Hean-Toh Hai Zhuo were denied a big win against Asian Games silver medallists Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto. The Indonesians won 21-16, 19-21, 21-19.
Ruselli Hartawan beat Yeo Jia Min 21-14, 21-18 in the women's singles for Indonesia's second point before Shesar Hiren Rhustiavito sealed an unassailable 3-0 lead by defeating Loh Kean Yew 17-21, 21-14, 21-7 in the men's singles.
Japan 3 Malaysia 0
Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi beat Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin 19-21, 21-16, 21-15
Aya Ohori beat Ho Yen Mei 21-9, 25-23
Kanta Tsuneyama beat Cheam June Wei 13-21, 23-21, 21-15
Indonesia 3 Singapore 0
Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto beat Loh Kean Hean-Toh Han Zhuo 21-16, 19-21, 21-19
Ruselli Hartawan beat Yeo Jia Min 21-14, 21-18
Shesar Hiren Rhustavito beat Loh Kean Yew 17-21, 21-14, 21-7