Sheer joy. Wee Kiong (on the ground) and V Shem celebrate after reaching the Olympic Games semis. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star.
RIO DE JANEIRO: Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong always do it the hard way against world No. 1 Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong.
On Monday, the Malaysians triumphed again in three games as they beat the South Koreans 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 to reach the men’s doubles semi-finals at the Rocentro Pavilion 4. It was only V Shem-Wee Kiong’s second win over the South Koreans in seven meetings.
V Shem-Wee Kiong had scored their first-ever win over Yong-dae-Yeon-seong at the Sudirman Cup team event last year, scoring a dramatic 20-22, 21-14, 27-25. They lost all the other five matches in straight games.
V Shem-Wee Kiong will now meet China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei for a place in the final.
“Once we were in front in the second and third games, we kept on pushing. We are really happy because we played well.
“But we are not going to think too far ahead, just go one step at a time,” said V Shem.
Having won all their Group B matches, Wee Kiong-V Shem were brimming with confidence, but Yong-dae-Yeon-seong brought them down to earth by winning the first game.
The Malaysians were level at 15-15, but once the Koreans pushed up a gear there was no doubt who would win the game. And Yong-dae-Yeon-seong did it in 28 minutes.
In the second game, the Malaysians were always in front and the winners were never in doubt as they triumphed in 29 minutes.
With a small band of Malaysian fans chanting “Ole, Ole”, Wee Kiong-V Shem were all fired up in the rubber. Again, they were in front and went on to lead 20-16. But the Koreans closed the gap to 20-19.
Fortunately, the Malaysians found the mental strength to clinch the final point to proceed to the semi-finals in their first Olympic appearance.
Third round: K. Srikanth (Ind) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-19, 21-19; Son Wan-ho (Kor) bt Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) 23-21, 21-17; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Hu Yun (Hkg) 21-10, 21-13.
Quarter-finals: Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan (Chn) bt Kim Sa-rang-Kim Gi-jung (Kor) 11-21, 21-18, 24-22; Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) bt Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) 21-13, 16-21, 21-16; Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge (Eng) bt Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) 21-19, 21-17; Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem (Mas) bt Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) 17-21, 21-18, 21-19.
Quarter-finals: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) bt Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) 21-16, 18-21, 21-9; Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) bt Eefje Muskens-Selena Piek (Ned) 21-13, 20-22, 21-14; Tang Yuanting-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Nitya Krishinda Maheswari-Greysia Polii (Ina) 21-11, 21-14; Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) bt Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 28-26, 18-21, 21-15.