V Shem-Wee Kiong fail to deliver opening point as Malaysia fall to Japan in Sudirman Cup
FABIAN PETER email@example.com
NATIONAL men’s doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong took the blame as Malaysia failed to top Group 1C in the Sudirman Cup following a 3-2 defeat to Japan yesterday. The 2016 Rio Games silver medallists squandered a one-game advantage as they went down 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 to Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in Gold Coast, Australia.
As a result of the defeat, Malaysia finished second to Japan and will face them again in the quarter-finals on Friday following the last eight draw yesterday.
Heading into the tie, Malaysia knew that points had be won in the men’s doubles, men’s singles and mixed doubles but all that was lost in the opening match.
Former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei stood no chance in the second match against World No 3 Akane Yamaguchi, who scored a 21-6, 21-17 win in just 32 minutes.
“First of all I don’t think we played badly, but our opponents were definitely stronger today (yesterday).
“I made too many unforced errors,” Wee Kiong lamented.
“I feel really bad for not being able to contribute a valuable point for the the team. We did well but it was not enough.”
Men’s singles World No 1 Lee Chong Wei pulled one back for Malaysia with a 21-8, 21-17 thrashing of Yu Igarashi but the tie was put to bed as women’s doubles World No 1 Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi saw off Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean with a 21-17, 21-18 win.
“It is, however, not the end of the world, as we are still through to the quarterfinals, but we will have to bounce back stronger and hopefully win our tie to advance to the next stage,” added Wee Kiong.
The BA of Malaysia (BAM) had set a target for the national squad to reach the semi-finals. The last time Malaysia reached the last four stage was at the 2009 edition in Guangzhou, China.
In the final match that made no difference to the outcome, Malaysia’s mixed doubles duo Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing beat Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino 21-16, 1621, 21-19.
Goh V. Shem (right) and Tan Wee Kiong lost to Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia yesterday.