No fear as our Uber Cuppers will be bold against Euro giants


Our mission: Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah will focus on their game and worry less about the mighty Denmark players in the first group tie today. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: It will be like David taking on Goliath when the Malaysian team led by skipper Lee Meng Yean play Denmark in the opening Group D tie of the Uber Cup Finals today.

Not only will the Malaysian girls look physically inferior to the mighty Danes but their strong opponents will also have a huge number of home supporters rooting for them in Aarhus, Denmark.

Malaysia play 14 time winners China tomorrow and Canada next to complete the fixtures. Only the top two teams advance to the quarter-finals.

On paper, Malaysia are not expected to progress beyond the group stage as the higher-ranked China and Denmark are expected to go through but national coaching director Wong Choong Hann wants the team to make up for the lack of depth with a courageous show.

“Denmark are considered as the strongest team from Europe while China are too strong. I’ve to admit that we lack the depth but our girls are in high spirits,” said Choong Hann.

Denmark went down 1-3 to China in the quarter-finals of the last edition in 2018 Bangkok but China then suffered a rude shock when they lost 2-3 to Thailand in the semi-finals.

Japan eventually bagged the title after beating the Thais 3-0 in the final.

“We’ve told them to be bold and fight without fear against the favourites,” he added.

Malaysia are represented by S. Kisona, Eoon Qi Xuan, K. Letshanaa, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing and Meng Yean-Go Pei Kee and all of them are ranked lower than the Danes.

S. Kisona is expected to play against world No. 12 Mia Blichfeldt in the first singles while Qi Xuan will likely take on world No. 23 Line Christophersen.

Malaysia may field the 17-year-old debutant Nurshuhaini against world No. 35 Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt to give her a taste of a world class competition for the first time.

In the first doubles, Malaysia will depend on Pearly-Thinaah to give world No. 16 Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen a run for their money.

They have the option of fielding Yap Ling-Mei Xing but probably will form a scratch partner by naming the experienced Meng Yean with a younger player to face Denmark’s world No. 25 Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn.

Said Thinaah: “Pearly and I have picked up many lessons from our recent Sudirman Cup outing. The matches against Indonesia and Japan showed where we stood and what are required to improve further. Rather than worrying about our opponents, we will focus on our game to give a good show.”

THOMAS CUP

Group A: Indonesia, Taiwan, Algeria, Thailand.

Group B: Denmark, South Korea, France, Germany.

Group C: China, India, Holland, Tahiti.

Group D: Japan, Malaysia, Canada.

UBER CUP

Group A: Japan, Indonesia, Germany, France.

Group B: Thailand, India, Spain, Scotland.

Group C: South Korea, Taiwan, Tahiti, Egypt.

Group D: China, Denmark, Malaysia, Canada.

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