V Shem-Wee Kiong spring surprise at Sudirman Cup

National doubles pair Goh V Shem (right) and Tan Wee Kiong at the Malaysian Open badminton tournament last month. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR

DONGGUAN: What do you do when you’re not given a hell of a chance to win?

You do the exact opposite! 

That’s what national doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong did when they upset the applecart to beat South Korea's world No. 1 Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong in the Sudirman Cup.

Playing in the first tie of the day, V Shem-Wee Kiong showed they thrived in a team event by edging Yong-dae-Yeon-seong 20-22, 21-14, 27-25 to give Malaysia a 1-0 start over South Korea on Sunday.

With the odds heavily stacked against Malaysia to pull off an upset against second seeds South Koreans, V Shem-Wee Kiong went on court without any expectations. But they were not cowed by Yong-dae-Yeon-seong’s reputation as they led 7-2 and 18-15. The South Koreans, however, fought back to force deuce before taking the first game 22-20.

Undeterred, the world No. 29 pair came back strongly to take the second game.

In the deciding rubber, they fought back from 18-20 down, then saved three more match points before eventually converting their chances to win 27-25.

It was the Malaysians’ first win over the South Koreans in three meetings. More importantly, they maintained their unbeaten record in team events.

V Shem-Wee Kiong combined for the first time at the Thomas Cup last year. They won all their matches, but Malaysia lost 3-2 to Japan in the final.

“It’s a very happy feeling, getting to beat the world No. 1 pair today. We played so much better. We tried our best and going for every point,” said V Shem.

“This win is definitely going to help us in the coming matches, especially in terms of confidence. Hopefully we’ll just keep improving in the future.”

Yong-dae admitted the pressure of giving South Korea the first point affected their performance.

“It was the first tie and the pressure for us to deliver was huge. We didn’t play well today, but I believe our performance will get better in the coming matches,” said Yong-dae.

Malaysia went on to stun South Korea 3-2 with the mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying delivering the winning point after beating Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na 23-21-21-13.

Earlier, Lee Chong Wei had restored Malaysia's lead (2-1) when he dispatched Lee Dong-keun 21-12, 21-10 to mark his return to competitive badminton after an eight-month absence from a doping violation.


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