Malaysia set to rely on beaten line-up

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

IT is not likely to be a case of once bit­ten, twice shy for Malaysia in the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia. Malaysia, who lost 3-2 to Ja­pan in a group match on Wed­nes­day, are ex­pected to rely on the same line-up again in the quar­ter-fi­nals to­day.

Lee Chong Wei and his team found them­selves hav­ing to face the same op­po­nents again when the quar­ter-fi­nals draw was made.

In the group stage, men’s dou­bles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong gave Ja­pan a pre­cious point when they squan­dered one game to lose 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 to Takeshi Ka­mura-Keigo Son­oda.

Head­ing into the tie, the na­tional squad knew that points had to be won in men’s dou­bles, men’s sin­gles and mixed dou­bles as their Asian coun­ter­parts were over­whelm­ing favourites in both the women’s sin­gles and dou­bles.

If there is any change in the quar­ter-fi­nal, na­tional No 1 women’s dou­bles Vi­vian Hoo Kah Mun-Woon Khe Wei may play af­ter be­ing rested on Wed­nes­day in favour of Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean who later lost to Olympic cham­pi­ons Misaki Mat­su­tomo-Ayaka Taka­hashi.

Malaysia could field Soniia Cheah in women’s sin­gles, but former world ju­nior cham­pion Goh Jin Wei is ex­pected to get the nod to play again, even af­ter los­ing tamely 21-6, 21-17 to World No 3 Akane Ya­m­aguchi two days ago.

BA of Malaysia (BAM) tech­ni­cal direc­tor Morten Frost did not re­veal much but did say that to­day’s out­come could go ei­ther way.

“I can’t say much be­cause the fi­nal lineup will only be out (to­day) at 8am. What I can say is that it will once again be a 50-50 bat­tle and any­body can win it,” said Frost.

Mean­while, in the first two quar­ter-fi­nals yes­ter­day, South Korea beat Tai­wan 3-1 and will face Thai­land, who saw off Den­mark 3-2, next in the last four.

The other quar­ter-fi­nal tie to­day sees top seeds China play In­dia.

Vi­vian Hoo (front) and Woon Khe Wei may play af­ter be­ing rested on Wed­nes­day for the quar­ter-fi­nal match against Ja­pan in the Sudirman Cup to­day.

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