BY: Michelle Liew
The national badminton squad has been drawn to meet its traditional rivals, Indonesia, in the quarterfinals of the Thomas Cup in Aarhus, Denmark today.
Malaysia advanced to the next round as runners-up in Group D, behind Japan as the Group D champions with a 4-1 victory in the last action of the group stage at Ceres Arena yesterday.
The draw is nerve-wrecking as Indonesia has won the Thomas Cup the most 13 times, with its last victory being in the 2002 edition in Guangzhou, China.
However, Malaysia remains optimistic as the team was successful in defeating Indonesia during Indonesia during the mixed team tournament at the Sudirman Cup in Vantaa, Finland last month.
If they manage to beat Indonesia, Malaysia will book its spot with either Denmark or India in the semi-finals this Saturday.
Yesterday, top gun Lee Zii Jia failed to repeat his excellence when he lost 21-15, 12-21, 21-23 to World No. 1 player Kento Momota of Japan. The main doubles duo, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik was also not able perform their best when they lost 13-21, 13-21 at the hands of Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.
The same result was experienced by the second singles player, Cheam June Wei when he lost 20-22, 13-21 to Kanta Tsuneyama and the second national doubles, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin, who lost 10-21, 16-21 to Akira Koga-Yuta Watanabe.
However, Leong Jun Hao delighted the national camp when he pulled off an upset by awarding the squad a consolation victory after beating Kenta Nishimoto 21-19, 21-18.
Malaysia will be looking forward to redeeming itself this evening so stay tuned!