IT was a moment to savour as Malaysia clinched its maiden Badminton Asia Team Championships 2022 title after three editions of the championships after prevailing 3-0 over Indonesia in the men’s team final encounter at Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC), here today.

Making the triumph sweeter for the Malaysians was that it avenged their 0-3 loss to the Indonesians in the previous finals in Manila in 2020. The win provided a timely boost for Malaysia as they gear themselves up for more challenging and tougher tasks in the coming months leading up to the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2022 in Bangkok, in May.

Lee Zee Jia and doubles duo Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik both started slowly and sluggishly, dropping their first sets before battling back into contention and knocking out their opponents to put Malaysia up 2-0.

Ng Tze Yong, who delivered the winning point in Malaysia’s semifinal tie against Korea yesterday, was again the toast of the team when he delivered the crucial winning point by defeating Ikhsan Rumbay 21-14, 21-15 in the third tie.

Lee Zia Jia was given a hard time by Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo who adopted a fast game to shock the Malaysian independent player 21-14 in 16 minutes. Zii Jia remained composed and read his opponent’s game well to bounce back 21-13 before sealing the rubber game 21-18 in 50 minutes.

“Overall, it was a good outing for us…not only have we met our target of making it into the finals, we’ve also won the title for the first time. That makes it even sweeter. However, I hope that we will not be contented with the victory as greater challenges await in the Thomas Cup,” said Zii Jia.

Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik lost their rhythm at the start of their tie but made amends in the ensuing game with a more compact game that rattled Leo Carnando-Daniel Marthin. The Malaysian won 21-13 in the second game before wrapping up with a close 21-18 win in the rubber.

Tze Yong, who has yet to drop a match in the event, maintained his unbeaten record with a confident performance. After winning the first set 21-14, Ikhsan tried hard to reduce the gap, but Tze Yong maintained his momentum to take the second set 21-15 and secure Malaysia’s first BATC title.

I’m pleased with my entire performance in the tournament, and providing the winning point for Malaysia makes it even better. “I dedicated this victory to everyone, including coaches, players, management, and especially my parents,” Tze Yong remarked.

Present at the prize presentation ceremony was Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin who gave away the challenge trophy to the winning team.

BATC 2022, organised by the Selangor Sports Council, is hosted by the Selangor State Government and in collaboration with Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

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