WE lost to a more determined team.
That’s veteran Lee Chong Wei’s answer after Malaysia suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to India and settled for silver in the mixed team at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre yesterday.
With the defeat, Malaysia failed to maintain their tradition of winning the team gold since the 2006 Melbourne Games.
As for India, it was their first-ever team gold in the Commonwealth Games history.
Malaysia’s collapse started when Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying went down to a shock 14-21, 21-15, 15-21 defeat to Satwik Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa.
It was the Rio Olympic Games silver medallists’ first meeting against the pair.
The Malaysians held a 12-8 lead in the decider before all hell broke loose.
“We were leading in the decider but the Indians changed tactics and we could not match them. They really put us under pressure,” admitted Liu Ying.
Said Peng Soon: “It’s disappointing to lose when we were expected to deliver. We will bounce back in the individual event.”
All eyes were on Chong Wei to revive Malaysia’s hope but he crashed out 17-21, 14-21 to K. Srikanth.
It was Chong Wei’s first-ever defeat to Srikanth.
“I could not keep up with Srikanth’s speed today. He was too good,” said the 35-year-old.
“I tried to break his resolve but Srikanth is a difficult man to beat when he is determined.
“Overall, the Indian team played well.
“They were more aggressive and determined to win.
“I know that our mixed pair tried to give a good start. We as a team accept our defeat. It’s not right to blame one or two players. We’ll rise together in the individual competition.”
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong salvaged some pride when they won a point in the men’s doubles but their victory did not come easy.
They had to dig deep to beat former Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her’s boys Satwik Rankireddy-Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty 21-15, 22-20 in a thrilling match.
The hope was on Soniia Cheah to turn Malaysia’s fortune when she stood against world No. 12 Saina Nehwal.
Surprisingly, she did give a good fight before going down to the inevitable defeat, losing 11-21, 21-19, 9-21.
“I feel sorry for the team. I failed to help them win a crucial point,” said Soniia.