It is all over for Malaysian shuttlers in the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland with the defeat of men’s singles Lee Zii Jia and professional mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in their quarter-final matches on Friday.
There was hope on Zii Jia after the debutant marched into the last eight but the Malaysian was no match for reigning champion Kento Momota who strolled to an easy 21-12, 21-8 win in only 37 minutes.
Hopes of a medal soared when Zii Jia Momota’s compatriot and No 8 seed Kenta Nishimoto in three games 21-15, 11-21, 22-20 in the third round. However, in the quarter-final match, Momota showed why he is the current World No 1.
There were also hopes on World No 5 Peng Soon-Liu Ying. However, the Rio Olympics silver medalists could not sustain their momentum against third-ranked Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.
The Japanese third seeds clawed back after losing the first game 18-21 and took the match into a decider with a 21-12 win in the second. In the decider, the pressure was on Peng Soon-Liu Ying and the crumbled against the former All England champions who walked away with a 21-11 win in 64 minutes.
At the last edition in Nanjing last year Malaysia won the bronze medal in the men’s singles through professional Liew Daren who made the exit in the second round in Basel, losing to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen. Daren defeated Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab in the first round. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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