SUDIRMAN CUP 2013 Day 2 – Hong Kong quits, Germany hopes

Korea showed up for their first match of the event and beat Hong Kong, bidding the former level two competitor goodbye from the Sudirman Cup draw. Meanwhile, after losing to […]

Korea showed up for their first match of the event and beat Hong Kong, bidding the former level two competitor goodbye from the draw. Meanwhile, after losing to Chinese Taipei 5-0, Germany hopes to oust home ground team Malaysia tomorrow in order to advance to the quarter-finals.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live).

The evening of Day 2 was expected to be more crowded than the afternoon session, as the second half of the day starred popular names like Korea and Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei, especially, received much support from the spectators in their tie against Malaysia last night despite playing in Kuala Lumpur. However, the tiers were emptier than they were during the day. Perhaps the big names on show tonight were not influential enough to draw badminton fans to the stadium on a Monday evening.

Hong Kong, being the only team in the elite group of the evening with their final shot at a pass to the quarter-finals, was eager to make their way past three-time champions Korea. World Junior Champion in boys’ doubles Lee Chun Hei, and his veteran mixed doubles partner Chau Hoi Wah (pictured above) outflanked the recent Asian Champions Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na (pictured below) in straight games to claim the opening point for Hong Kong. In fact, Lee and Chau were very close to upsetting Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam in their tie against Thailand last night.

I’m excited because we knew what our mistakes were in our match yesterday, and we managed to make up for that today,” said Lee. “We knew before that we were going to play against them [Ko/Kim], so we watched many videos to get an understanding of their style of playing. I never thought that it would be such a smooth win. I did my best, and I’m satisfied.

Wong Wing Ki then went on court in hopes of bringing Hong Kong a step further away from the pit of the group, but Korea’s one and only men’s singles warrior Lee Dong Keun (pictured below) stopped him from doing so. Wong let the point fall into the hands of his same-aged opponent, thus presenting Korea with their first point of the championship. “We lost the mixed doubles in the first match, and I wanted to focus more on the game. I had no pressure because this is a team event, and throughout the match I only thought of winning for the team,” said Lee.

Giving the role of cheerleading to Lee Yong Dae for the night, Korea fielded Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang, who lost to Ko/Lee in the Asian Championships last month, to be responsible for the third match against Hong Kong. Kim/Kim finished the match in two games in their favour, and Sung Ji Hyun’s second victory over Yip Pui Yin in four meetings added on to allow Korea to sweep Hong Kong out of the round-robins, winning 3-1 by the end of the fourth match. To wrap up their first tie in the round-robins, Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na beat Tse Ying Suet / Poon Lok Yan to conclude Korea’s victory over Hong Kong 4-1.

Korea will play against Thailand tomorrow evening to decide which team will top the group before the commencement of the quarter-finals. Head coach Lee Deuk Choon indicated, “Thailand is a higher seeded team, and their singles are higher ranked than ours, so our strategy will be focused on the doubles.” Appending to Ko/Kim’s loss in the mixed doubles today, he said, “We will have a team meeting tomorrow morning. We still have two other pairs for mixed doubles, so we’ll see how it goes then.

Chinese Taipei tops group C

Fresh from their win over the home team yesterday, Chinese Taipei rose to the top of the group by beating Germany 5-0. While Chinese Taipei gets ready to advance into the quarter-finals as the top of group C, Germany will face off Malaysia tomorrow for the remaining spot on the train.

Michael Fuchs (pictured right), who lost in the mixed doubles match early in the evening, expressed his thoughts on their tie tomorrow. “It will be a tough match against Malaysia tomorrow. Malaysia has three strong points – the men’s singles, men’s doubles and the mixed doubles – but we can still win the women’s singles. We don’t have any pressure as we’re playing the home team. They need to perform, while we can enjoy.

On the other hand, after sending the third and deciding point off to Lee Sheng Mu / Tsai Chia Hsin of Chinese Taipei, Johannes Schoettler also talked about their next match. “Malaysia’s men’s doubles lost yesterday, so we hope to beat them too.

His partner, Ingo Kindervater said, “We don’t know who will be playing against us tomorrow, but we can be sure that Malaysia will send their best.

In the other divisions, France, who were the runners-up of Level 2 in Qingdao, defeated Canada 3-2, while Switzerland and Vietnam both claimed clean-sheets, from Kazakhstan and Lithuania respectively.

Monday evening results:
Level 1
Korea beat Hong Kong 4-1
Chinese Taipei beat Germany 5-0
Level 2
France beat Canada 3-2
Level 3
Switzerland beat Kazakhstan 5-0
Vietnam beat Lithuania 5-0

Click here for complete Day 2 results

About Ee-Lyn Ooi