Pairs vow to rise to the occasion against Indonesia

Choong Hann: ‘Japan were just too fast and in control today.’

PETALING JAYA: Our pairs fell flat against Japan but they have vowed to double their efforts in the quarter-finals.

Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani collapsed in straight games in the 1-4 loss to the Japanese.

Hopes were high on Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Aaron-Wooi Yik to level the score after Lee Zii Jia lost to Kento Momota in the first singles but instead, they were blown away in just 37 minutes by Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.

The Malaysians went down 13-21, 13-21 and the record between the two pairs now stand at 3-2 in favour of the Japanese.

In the Sudirman Cup two weeks ago, the Malaysians defeated Hoki-Kobayashi in the group stage but lost in the semi-finals.

Malaysia also failed to get a point in the second doubles when Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin went down tamely 10-21, 16-21 to Akira Koga-Yuta Watanabe, a scratch pair.

In men’s singles, Malaysia salvaged one point through Leong Jun Hao after Cheam June Wei failed to keep Malaysia afloat in the second singles.

National coaching director Wong Choong Hann admitted that it was not an inspiring show.

“We had hoped for pairs to get the better of their opponents. Turned out, they were just too fast and in control today. The players tried but could not find a way to beat them,” said Choong Hann.

“It’s not their best form but we believe they will rise again.”

Malaysia will play Indonesia while Japan will take on South Korea for a place in the semi-finals today.

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