Alice optimistic women’s team can reach knockout rounds despite loss to Puerto Rico

PETALING JAYA: National paddler Alice Chang (pic) remains optimistic about the women’s team’s chances of reaching the knockout rounds of the World Team Championships despite their second consecutive defeat in the group stages.

Alice and her teammates narrowly went down 2-3 to Puerto Rico in their fourth Group 5 match in Busan yesterday.

The 23-year-old had given the team the perfect start with a 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 win over Brianna Burgos.

Karen Lyne though lost the second match 5-11, 7-11, 7-11 to Adriana Diaz.

Ho Ying then gave Malaysia a 2-1 lead after beating Melanie Diaz 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6.

Diaz levelled the tie at 2-2 with a hard fought 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10 win over Alice.

In the deciding match, Karen battled hard but agonisingly lost 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 13-15, 6-11 to Burgos.

A day earlier, the team had lost 0-3 to hosts South Korea.

The defeats put the teams chances of making it through to the next round in the balance but Alice is not throwing in the towel just yet.

“It was unfortunate that we lost to Puerto Rico as a win will have secured out spot in the next round,” said Alice.

“But that’s how the game goes and we can only look forward.

“We have one last match against Italy tomorrow (today). If we win there’s still a possibility for us to qualify for the next round.

“So, what can we do now is just start over again and fight,” added Alice.

The team need to make it into the quarter-finals to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics.

Meanwhile, there was no joy for the men’s team led by Choong Javen after they lost 1-3 to Brazil in Group 7 yesterday.

It was the team’s third straight defeat after earlier losses to Canada and Singapore.

The team will next play Slovenia today but will not be able to qualify for the next round.

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