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Sunday February 19, 2012
By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: The Thomas Cup qualifiers in Macau were reduced to a farce yesterday as Malaysia and Indonesia tried their level best to lose their irrelevant playoff for third place. Malaysia won that — losing 3-2.
There was much mirth in the Malaysian camp when doubles stalwart Koo Kien Keat (pic) played as the third singles in the deciding match against Indonesia with the score at 2-2.
Kien Keat responded by surrendering tamely to Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka 8-21, 9-21 in just 22 minutes to hand Indonesia victory.
Malaysia rested both Lee Chong Wei and Mohd Hafiz Hashim and had to promote Kien Keat to support Liew Daren and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the singles.
Daren won his match in just four minutes after Simon Santoso conceded a walkover as Indonesia also flagged their disinterest in the proceedings.
National coach Pang Cheh Chang said Malaysia did not field their best lineup because they did not see any point in doing so.
“Malaysia and Indonesia had already confirmed tickets for the Finals (by making the semi-finals). So, we made use of the opportunity to try out all our back-up players. They will be competing in the German Open and needed the workout,” said Cheh Chang.
“Obviously, singles is not Kien Keat’s cup of tea but he did have a good warm-up. He played like a cartoon character and it was hilarious to watch,” added Cheh Chang.
South Korea, who are still fighting to book the last ticket for the Finals, defeated Thailand 4-1 in the playoffs.
The Koreans will take on India today and a win will assure them a place in the Finals in Wuhan.
In the final of the qualifier today, China can expect the match to go down the wire when they take on a balanced Japan team.
In the Uber Cup, the Malaysian girls went down 5-0 to Indonesia in the playoff. They take on Singapore in their final match today.
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