Malaysia set to rely on beaten line-up
FABIAN PETER firstname.lastname@example.org
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.