Defending champion and host Malaysia will take on Japan while Korea stormed into their fourth semifinals with China as their rival in the semifinals of the Badminton Asia Team Championships at the Setia City Convention Centre here tomorrow.

While Malaysia had a comfortable 3-1 win over last edition’s semifinalists Singapore, China, Korea and Japan had to endure strong resistance from their quarterfinal rivals before confirming their semifinal spots.

China were involved in a closely-fought battle against Indonesia before winning 3-2, while Korea had to dig deep before winning 3-2 against Chinese Taipei.

A nail-biting action between Japan and India turned out to be the highlight of the day as both teams battled hard right to the very end which eventually favoured the former.

The Malaysian camp were given a scare after first singles Ng Tze Yong was forced to retire early in the first game against Jason Teh Jia Heng, after a recurring back injury.

However, top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik made up for the disappointment of losing yesterday against Chinese Taipei, levelling terms with a 21-11, 22-24, 21-14 over Singapore’s Loh Kean Hean/Wong Jia Hao in 59 minutes.

Leong Jun Hao proved his worth again, capturing his fourth win in the tournament, playing confidently against Joel Koh Jia Wei to win 21-8, 21-12 in just 31 minutes.

Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin were the toast of the team as they delivered the winner but not after a three-game match which ended in the Malaysians winning 21-6, 20-22, 21-8 in 50 minutes.

Today’s outcome was a big blow for Indonesia’s men’s team as they failed to reach the final of the tournament for the first time since 2016 after being shown the exit by China.

Weng Hong Yang had put China in front following a straight game 21-11, 21-11 win against Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo but world No.9 pair Muhammad Sahibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana kept Indonesia’s hopes alive with a 21-19, 21-19 win over He Ji Teng-Ren Xiang Yu.

China were back in the lead after Alwi Farhan suffered his first defeat in the tournament, going down to Lei Lan Xi 21-14, 21-10 but world No.12 Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin forced a decider after dumping Chen Bo Yang/Liu Yi 21-14-21-18.

With both teams tied at 2-2,  last men’s singles Wang Zhen Xin stepped up to deliver the winner to China, defeating Yohanes Saut Marcellyno 21-15, 21-22.

However, it was the Japan-India tie that caught the attention of many as Kidambi Srikanth and Kento Momota fought tooth and nail in the decider after both teams were locked at 2-2.

Kenta Nishimoto, who had defeated Singapore’s former world champion Loh Kean Yew on Wednesday, gave Japan the opening point after outclassing India’s top star HS Prannoy in a 64-minute duel which ended in the Japanese winning 21-16, 26-24.

As expected, top pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty lived up to their top billing, levelling the score after beating Kenya Mitsuhashi/Hiroki Okamura 21-15, 21-17.

Lakshya Sen had put India back in the driver’s seat with a 21-19, 22-20 win over Koki Watanabe but Akira Koga/Kazuki Shibata forced a decider after getting the better of M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila 21-17, 21-15.

Against Kidambi Srikanth, former world no.1 Kento Momota put up a commanding display and superb comeback in the rubber game which ended in the Japanese winning 17-21, 21-9, 22-20 in 77 minutes.

Three-time semifinalist Korea will surely fancy their chances of making it into their first final of the tournament when they meet China in tomorrow’s semifinals.


China vs Korea
Malaysia vs Japan

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