Doubles letdown as Malaysia crash out
THE crucial men’s doubles match was once again the deciding factor, as Malaysia crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Sudirman Cup after losing 3-1 to Japan yesterday.
Having lost 3-2 to Japan in the group stage on Wednesday, Malaysia knew that they had to win the opening match this time, or get knocked out.
Last year’s Rio Olympic Games silver medallists Goh V ShemTan Wee Kiong, however, failed to get the better of World No 5 Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in their second encounter this week, losing 21-17, 16-21, 21-11.
“Malaysia lost to Japan, a better team on the day,” admitted BA of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost.
“Once again we lost the crucial men’s doubles match and once again no way back.
“Lee Chong Wei kept us in the tie but unfortunately in vain.”
Chong Wei, who also lost his World No 1 spot to South Korea’s Son Wan Ho on Thursday, beat Kenta Nishimoto 21-15, 21-13, after Nozomi Okuhara had doubled the lead for Japan with a 21-11, 219 win over Soniia Cheah in the second match.
Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi, however, put the final nail in the coffin when they saw off Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei with an easy 21-7, 21-14 win to check Japan into the last four stage, where they will face top seeds China next.
Favourites China had earlier beaten India 3-0 in the quarterfinals. The other semi-final match today sees South Korea play Thailand.
“We must go home and train more and harder, to improve our shortcomings. We must keep improving our world standing.
“Two years ago, we came into the tournament as No 10, this year No 5. Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to fight back,” added Frost, who must next look into the team’s preparation ahead of the World Championships in Glasgow and the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games, both in August.