TUC ASIA 2012 – Double scare for Malaysians

In both the Thomas and Uber Cup group matches of the Asian preliminary stage held in Macau, the Malaysians came through a difficult second day as the men’s squad beat […]

In both the Thomas and Uber Cup group matches of the Asian preliminary stage held in Macau, the Malaysians came through a difficult second day as the men’s squad beat Hong Kong 3-2 while the women’s squad came through victorious over India by the same tight score of 3-2.

By Raphaël Sachetat. Photos (archives) : Badmintonphoto and rights reserved

After two days of competition in Macau, for the Asian stage of the Thomas and Uber Cup qualifying rounds, things are getting serious with ties which have gone down to the wire. The Malaysians enjoyed a good day after all, as both squads beat their respective opponents 3-2.

In group D of the Thomas Cup, Lee Chong Wei had set his team on the right track – after he had treated his whole team with a nice meal the previous day. “Captain” Lee took two games – but had to fight hard – to win against Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki, for a final 21-18, 22-20 victory. This was exactly the reverse score of Hu Yun (photo) against Hafiz Hashim, who put back Hong Kong in the tie, after Koo and Tan made light work of their opponents. At 2-1 in the lead, the Malaysians banked on Lim and Goh (photo) to get the deciding point.  This was fortunate as Liew Daren was then unable to close it down and Chan Yan Kit brought his team back to 2-3 in the overall tie. After Korea had beaten Hong Kong  5-0 in this group, the final tie between Korea and Malaysia will determine who tops the group, but in any case, the second will still have a chance to qualify – for Hong Kong, it is now too late.

In other groups, China and Taiwan will play the top of the group A as both nations won their match against Vietnam – with a good victory from Nguyen Tien Minh over Chen Long. In group B, Indians won the most important match against Singapore 3-2 and are now in the lead with Indonesia. Both teams should go on to the next stage.  It was the same fate for Japan and Thailand, who are yet to meet to see who will top group C on Wednesday.

Rexy’s shuttlers provide with close success

If China is the strong favourite in the group W of the Uber Cup, there was still a chance for either Malaysia or India – in the same group – to be able to still qualify. And it will be Malaysia – unless India beats China – who might get the chance, after their 3-2 victory over the Indians. Saina Nehwal did show up after all, even after a health scare, and managed to take one point, as did the new rising star Sindhu PV, but both doubles failed to deliver. Chin and Wong (photo) beat Gutta and Ponnappa, the Commonwealth Games gold medallists, in three games in what was probably the key match of the tie. And then, in a thriller, youngster Yang Li Lian beat Sayali Gokhale 11,21, 21-15, 22-20 to create the upset of the day.

After 2 days of play in Macau, other groups are set to see their final round robin matches on Wednesday, with favourites meeting to top their respective groups. Singapore and Taipei will meet up after each won 5-0 over Vietnam, while in Group Z, Japan and Hong Kong will play for the best spot on Wednesday as well.

In group Y, it is no surprise to see Thailand and Indonesia leading the party with an interesting tie to come, with strong players on either side of the net on Wednesday.

Both teams have the same quality and chance to win. We hope the players will play at their best and win the match,” Yacob Rusdianto, Secretary General of PBSI  told the Jakarta Globe.

For Ratchanok Intanon, Thailand’s wonder, the key of the match will rely on the singles for Thailand: “If we want to win the match, we have to win all three single matches,” she told the Antara News Agency. “I think we have a 50-50 chance against Indonesia, but Indonesia has great doubles.”

All results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.