Badminton

Published: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 9:42:00 PM
Updated: Monday May 19, 2014 MYT 10:11:12 PM

Steady Wei Feng’s no shrinking violet

Chong Wei Feng falls to the ground in celebration after clinching Malaysia's winning third point in the Group C tie against Germany on Monday. - AZHAR MAHFOF/ The Star

Chong Wei Feng falls to the ground in celebration after clinching Malaysia's winning third point in the Group C tie against Germany on Monday. - AZHAR MAHFOF/ The Star

NEW DELHI: Chong Wei Feng has often wilted under pressure in the past but he is not showing any signs of it so far, steering Malaysia into the final-eight of the Thomas Cup Finals at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.

The world number 25 again handed Malaysia the winning point in their 4-1 win over Germany in Group C, holding off a tenacious challenge from Dieter Domke to prevail 19-21, 22-20, 23-21 in 104 minutes.

World number one Lee Chong Wei delivered as usual with a clinical 21-14, 21-8 win over Marc Zwiebler in the first singles and scratch pair Tan Boon Heong-Tan Wee Kiong went through anxious moments before putting Malaysia two up.

Boon Heong-Wee Kiong won 13-21, 21-17, 21-18 against Johannes Schoettler-Michael Fuchs and the pressure was on Wei Feng to beat the lanky German, who was outstanding in beating South Korea’s Lee Dong-keun in straight games on Sunday.

The German threw everything he had into the match but Wei Feng defended well and won the battle in the end to guarantee Malaysia a place in the knockout stage.

Myanmar SEA Games champion Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah went on to beat Peter Kaesbauer-Josche Zurwonne 21-12, 21-18 but captain Liew Daren’s poor form continued with a 20-22, 10-21 defeat against Lukas Schmidt in the third singles.

It was Malaysia’s second consecutive win in Group C after beating India 4-1 on Sunday.

Malaysia have a day’s rest on Tuesday before taking on South Korea on wednesday to decide who tops the group.

The respective group winners will not meet each other until the semi-finals.

Wei Feng said he always had trouble playing against a taller opponent but was relieved to come out tops this time.

“I lost to him in our previous meeting three years ago and I knew it would be hard for me to counter a taller player.

“No way I can play an attacking game against him. I am happy I defended well and was also good at net-play. I got more confident going into the rubber although I knew he was pressuring me into making mistakes,” said Wei Feng.

South Korea, the losing finalist at Wuhan in 2012, rode on the strength of their doubles pairings Yoo Yeon-seong-Lee Yong-dae and Kim Sa-rang-Kim Ki-jung to edge hosts India 3-2.

It was South Korea’s second straight win in the group. They survived a scare against Germany on Sunday, also dropping two singles points before winning 3-2.

The Germans, meanwhile, are out of contention and will play India on Wednesday with the winner finishing third in the group.

Tags / Keywords: Chong Wei Feng, badminton, Thomas Cup, Lee Chong Wei, Liew Daren, Tan Boon Heong Than Wee Kiong Goh V Shem

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