China toppled hosts Malaysia with a comprehensive 3-0 win in today’s men’s team final to clinch their first Badminton Asia Team Championship title at Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam. 

China’s squad of second-stringers proved to be formidable and too strong for the depleted Malaysian side, who were not at full strength in today’s final due to the absence of its key players including Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong. 

Malaysia’s top two singles Zii Jia had to sit due to a relapse with his sinus problem while Tze Yong was out due to the recurrence of his back injury. 

Leong Jun Hao stepped into the courts in place of Zii Jia in the first singles encounter, putting up strong resistance and improved performance against world No.16 Weng Yong Yang.

But the Chinese proved too strong for the Malaysian who eventually succumbed to his technically superior opponent 21-19, 21-17 in 51 minutes. 

“I’m truly disappointed at not being able to contribute (a point). I’ve given everything that I had, but it’s just not my day,” said Jun Hao after the match. 

All eyes and hopes were then focused on Malaysia’s world No.5 pair Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik to level terms and put Malaysia back in contention. 

But they too, found the Chinese pair of Xie Hao Nan-Zeng Wei Han (world-ranked 90) a tough nut to crack, only to be dragged into a three-game battle that eventually favoured the Chinese 21-16, 16-21, 23-21 in 66 minutes. 

“We’ve executed our plan well, challenging the Chinese pair point for point…they’ve made several mistakes too but in the end, we’re disappointed,” said Aaron Chia. 

Aaron added that it was unfortunate that the team suffered injury and health issues amongst its players at a crucial stage such as today’s finals. 

With two points behind, Eogene Ewe shouldered the responsibility of salvaging Malaysia’s hopes, but in the end, had to concede defeat to the more superior Lei Lan Xi.

Lei had no trouble dismissing the 18-year-old Malaysian in 38 minutes, giving China the winning point which earned them the BATC trophy.


Weng Hong Yang bt Leong Jun Hao 21-19, 21-17

Xie Hao Nan-Zeng Wei Han bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-16, 16, 21, 23-21

Lei Lan Xi bt Eogene Ewe 21-10, 21-14

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