But who would have thought the 21-year-old would stage an amazing comeback to stun the world No. 24 and third seed 19-21, 21-12, 21-19 for the biggest upset of the day in the badminton quarter-finals.
World No. 104 Kisona’s victory summed up a splendid day for the Malaysian badminton team as all other seven representatives – including six doubles pairs – made it into the semi-finals as well.
They are Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles; Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean and Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (women’s doubles); and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie-Tan Kian Meng Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles) - assuring Malaysia of at least eight bronze medals.
But the day clearly belonged to Kisona, who has certainly taken her chances well in filling the void left by defending champion Goh Jin Wei.
“This is the biggest win of my career. I am very pleased to have overcome such a skilful and talented player,” said Kisona.
“Despite trailing Gregoria by a big margin, I just told myself not to give up because it’s not over until it’s over.
“I did not fight her alone. I had coach Bock (Datuk Tey Seu Bock) and coach (Wong) Choong Hann backing up me.
Having made it this far, Kisona believes it’s only the right thing to do dream bigger now.
“I’m just one step away from reaching final, obviously anything is possible,” vowed Kisona ahead of her semi-final clash against Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand.
Shevon, meanwhile, has called on teammates Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing to make it a dream all-Malaysian final after shaking off some rustiness to reach the last four.
Shevon and partner Soon Huat needed three games to emerge victorious 21-13, 14-21, 21-16 against unheralded Vietnamese Do Tuan Duc-Pham Nhu Thao.
“We’ve been here one week and finally we got to play a competitive match. We were a bit rusty but it was no big deal,” said Shevon.
“The condition of the court here isn’t easy to handle. In fact, playing three games helps us to adapt better with the venue for the next rounds.
“Kian Meng-Pei Jing have also made it to the semis, I really both pairs try their best can get to the final and assure Malaysia of a gold in the mixed double. That will be a dream come true,” said the 2017 SEA Games silver medallist.
Both Malaysian pairs face their real test today.
Shevon-Soon Huat will take on former world junior champions Rinov Rivaldy-Phita Haningtyas Mentari while Kian Meng-Pei Jing meet world No. 5 Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti.
They will be hoping to pile on further pressure on Indonesia who have lost their top prospects in the men’s singles and men’s doubles.
Their men’s singles challenge was wiped out after Shesar Hiren Rhustavito was sent packing by Loh Kean Yew while top seeds Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto went down to Thailand’s Bodin Isara-Maneepong Isara-Maneepong Jongjit.
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