THE BLAME

V Shem-Wee Kiong fail to de­liver open­ing point as Malaysia fall to Ja­pan in Sudirman Cup

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

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.

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