Malaysia stormed into the final of the Badminton Asia Team Championship after carving out a 3-0 over Korea in a semifinal match at Setia City Convention Centre here today.
Second singles player Ng Tze Yong performed a gutsy play to deliver Malaysia’s winning point after first singles Lee Zii Jia and national top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik had respectively given Malaysia a 2-0 lead over the Koreans.
Malaysia will clash against Indonesia, who beat Singapore 3-2 in the second semifinal, in what will be a repeat of the BATC 2020 finals in Manila. While Malaysia are eyeing their maiden title, Indonesia are bidding for their fourth consecutive title in tomorrow’s showdown.
In the other semifinal, Indonesia and Singapore were involved in a close battle with both locked at 2-2 and had to wait for the singles tie to decide the winner. Indonesia prevailed with Christian Adinata delivering the winning point after brushing aside Joel Koh Jia Wei 21-12, 21-14.
For Malaysia, it was a nervy semifinal especially in the first two encounters as Lee Zii Jia and the top pair of Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik were stretched by their Korean opponents in three-set games.
Zii Jia dropped the first game in just 18 minutes to the lower-ranked Jeon Hyeok Jin, losing 13-21, but clawed back with a strong display to win 21-13 in the second game before sealing the match with 21-15 in the rubber game to put Malaysia ahead.
“I had a bad start in the first game, it was hard to control the shuttle due to the strong wind. But I managed to keep up put things back in my control in the second and rubber game,’ said Zii Jia.
Aaron-Soh were also given a tough time before delivering Malaysia’s second point. The Malaysian pair had to battle for almost an hour before prevailing 21-14, 20-22, 21-19 over Kim Hwi Tae-Kim Jaehwan
For Soh Wooi Yik, the win over the Koreans was a big relief after losing their tie yesterday. “I felt a big relief after the win. We were disappointed after yesterday’s loss and today, we gave our all,” said Wooi Yik.
Ng Tze Yong clawed back from a game down (19-21) to force Kim Joo Wan into a decider after winning 21-16 in the second game. The 47th ranked Tze Yong took control of the rubber game with a 21-12 win to ensure Malaysia’s winning point and set a final clash against Indonesia.
Indonesia were given stiff resistance by Singapore with world champion Loh Kean Yew opening account in the first singles with a 21-17, 21-19 win over Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo.
Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin levelled terms for Indonesia with a 21-16, 21-12 win over Andy Kwek-Wesley Koh before Singapore went ahead again through Jason Teh who beat Ikhsan Rumbay 21-18, 8-21, 21-9.
Indonesia took the game into a decider after Muhammad Sohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana defeated Danny Chrisnanta-Terry Hee 15-21, 21-11, 21-15.
The Malaysia-Indonesia men’s team final clash is scheduled at 4 pm tomorrow.
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) and ends on Sunday, February 20.