Ong-Teo reach Japan Masters semis for shot at Finals

In synergy: Malaysia’s men’s doubles Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are on track to qualify for World Tour Finals. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttlers Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi have an extra motivation to put up another smashing show in the Japan Masters.

The world No. 11 will get to qualify for the season-ending World Tour Finals from Dec 13-17 in Hangzhou where the Badminton World Federation (BWF) have increased the total prize money for the winners from US$2mil (RM9.4mil) to US$2.5mil (RM11.7mil) this year.

In the doubles events, the winners will take home a whopping US$210,000 (RM980,000).

Yesterday, Yew Sin-Ee Yi kept their chances of making the cut for the Finals alive after beating Taiwan’s Lee Fang-chih-Lee Fang-jen 21-19, 21-16 to reach the last four of the Japan Masters at the Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium.

It is the professional pair’s first semi-final since the Taiwan Open in June.

Yew Sin-Ee Yi are currently in the 11th spot in the Race to Finals rankings. They have a chance as there are four Indonesian pairs ahead of them but a country can have only a maximum two representatives in the top eight. They just need a strong push to make the top eight.

Coach Rosman Razak though wants his charges to take it step by step.

“At this moment, we are not thinking about qualifying for the Finals but we are just focusing on our own performance,” said Rosman.

“I’m happy with Yew Sin-Ee Yi’s display today (yesterday). The players’ defence and counter-attack need to be solid in this tournament as the shuttle is very slow in this venue.

“I feel Yew Sin-Ee Yi managed to do these well today and their strokes were also better compared to yesterday.”

World No. 12 Yew Sin-Ee Yi face a tougher task today in the semi-finals against China’s world No. 8 Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi.

“It will be a really difficult match tomorrow (today) and hopefully they can perform well,” said Rosman.

Yew Sin-Ee Yi are the last Malaysians left in the tournament after all others bowed out.

Women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah lost 13-21, 18-21 to homesters Rena Miyaura-Ayaka Sakuramoto.

In the mixed doubles, world No. 10 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei went down 14-21, 14-21 to China’s world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong while pros Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing suffered a 15-21, 16-21 defeat to home favourites Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

Malaysians unless stated

Men’s singles: Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Kento Momota (Jpn) 21-17, 21-12; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Jonatan Christie (Den) 15-21, 21-18, 21-9; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Koki Watanabe (Jpn) 21-17, 21-15; Takuma Obayashi (Jpn) bt Anders Antonsen (Den) 21-12, 10-21, 21-12.

Men’s doubles: Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi bt Lee Fang-chih-Lee Fang-jen (Tpe) 21-19, 21-16; Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn) bt Akira Koga-Taichi Saito (Jpn) 21-19, 21-13; He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu (Chn) bt Kenya Mitsuhashi-Hiroki Okamura (Jpn) 21-17, 21-16;

Women’s singles: An Se-young (Kor) bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 21-17, 21-9; Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Carolina Marin (Spa) 21-12, 21-9; Gregoria Mariska (Ina) bt Yeo Jia Min (Sin) 22-20, 21-19; Zhang Beiwen (US) bt Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) 19-21, 21-19, 6-0, ret.

Women’s doubles: Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto (Jpn) bt Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah 21-13, 21-18; Liu Shengshu-Tan Ning (Chn) bt Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Tha) 15-21, 21-16, 21-18; Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu (Chn) bt Lee Chia-hsin-Teng Chun-hsun (Tpe) 21-9, 21-14; Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 21-12, 21-18.

Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei 21-14, 21-14; Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-15, 21-16; Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung (Kor) bt Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin (Chn) 21-19, 21-19; Feng Yanzhe-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya (Jpn) 14-21, 21-18, 21-7.

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