Hulking Malaysia smash the hosts

  • Badminton
  • Monday, 02 Dec 2019

Go all the way: Singapore’s Jaslyn Yue Yann Hooi falls as she stretches for the shuttlecock in her quarter-final match against Philippines’ Sarah Joy Barredo. — Reuters

MALAYSIA took no chances and sent out the big guns against minnows Philippines in their opening team badminton match and the Goliaths duly smashed their opponents. Yet, coaching director Wong Choong Hann considered it only a warm-up for the Malaysian giants.

Malaysia could have afforded to field their second stringers but threw in arguably their strongest line-up comprising Lee Zii Jia, Soong Joo Ven and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik to ensure an emphatic 3-0 victory.

Zii Jia took just 27 minutes to seal a 21-12, 21-8 win over Ros Leenard Ramiro Pedrosa before Aaron-Wooi Yik defeated Peter Gabriel De Jesus Magnaye-Alvin Nitura Morada to 21-17, 21-14 to double the lead.

Joo Ven then wrapped it up with a 21-15, 21-17 win against Lans Ralf Uy Zafra, leaving scratch pair Goh Soon Huat-Ong Yew Sin and debutant Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin with no role to play in the remaining second doubles and third singles fixtures.

“We need our key players to warm up for the tournament, to help them to get ready for stronger opponents in the later stages,” said Choong Hann.

Choong Hann, who himself was part of the gold medal-winning team in Kuala Lumpur 2001 and Manila 2005, has hinted that he would not hold anything back either against Singapore in the semi-finals today.

“I need Yew Sin-(Teo) Ee Yi to be on standby. They have a big part to play in case we go beyond three matches,” he said,

“Whoever gets fielded must be ready to play and deliver because in team event, anything can happen.”

Singapore confirmed their last four place against Malaysia by defeating Myanmar 3-0.

On paper, Malaysia should face little trouble beating Singapore who will be relying heavily on Loh Kean Yew to hand them a strong start in their bid to pull off a surprise win.

Defending champions and top seeds Indonesia, who received a bye, will open their campaign against Thailand today.

Powered by their two top 10 men’s singles stars Jonatan Christie and Anthony Ginting, Indonesia are bidding to extend their team gold winning streak to six Games.

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Wong Choong Hann


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