Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin repaid the faith in him when he scored a crushing 21-3, 2-4 win over Tamrakar Sajan Krishna in the men’s third singles for the winning point as Malaysia blanked minnows Nepal 3-0 in the men’s team event quarter-finals in the Asian Games badminton competition at the Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon on Sunday morning.
Given the nod overThomas Cupper and much more experienced Goh Soon Huat, it was certainly a big boost for Iskandar who took only 15 minutes to give Malaysia an unassailable 3-0 lead and a place in the semi-finals against favourites China.
China defeated Hong Kong 3-0 but the win did not come easy for the mighty Chinese powered by their ‘superstar’ Lin Dan and newly crowned world champion champion Chen Long.
Malaysia got off to a flying start with World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei taking 25 minutes to beat Tamang Ratna Jit 21-10, 21-12. The Malaysian ace later complained of the glare inside the gymnasium because of poor lighting.
It was also a stroll for Malaysia’s second ranked men’s singles shuttler Chong Wei Feng who romped home with a 21-10, 21-13 win over Shrestha Bikash to put his team in the driving seat before Iskandar delivered the winning point. Wei Feng had complained of a stiff shoulder during training in Incheon.
With an unassailable lead already secured the doubles matches involving Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem and Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong did not have to play their matches.
Meanwhile, Lin Dan delivered China their winning point and a 3-0 lead against Hong Kong when he defeated Vincent Wong Wing Ki 21-8, 21-15r in 37 minutes. Chen Long gave China the first point when he toiled for 52 minutes before prevailing with 21-17, 22-20 win over Wei Nan.
China’s Liu Xialong-Qiu Zihan were fully stretched in the men’s doubles before riding on their experience to secure a 24-22, 24-26, 21-11 win over Hong Kong’s Reginald Lee-Tang Chun Man in 71 minutes.
RESULTS (Men’s team)
Malaysia 3 Nepal 0
Datuk Lee Chong Wei beat Tamang Ratna Jit 21-10, 21-12
Chong Wei Feng beat Shrestha Bikash 21-10, 21-13
Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin beat Tamrakar Sajan Krishna 21-13, 21-4
China 3 Hong Kong 0
Chen Long beat Wei Nan 21-17, 22-20
Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan beat Reginald Lee-Tang Chun Man 24-22, 24-26, 21-11
Lin Dan beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki 21-8, 21-15