BANGKOK – Another loss. Another early group stage exit.
A 4-1 defeat by hosts Thailand in their second Group C tie at the Impact Arena here today has ended Malaysia’s challenge in the 2022 Uber Cup Finals.
Malaysia, who suffered a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to Denmark in their opening group tie yesterday, made several “shocking” changes today in a bid to qualify for the last eight, but it was to no avail.
Former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei, who replaced S. Kisona as first singles, started brightly by upstaging former world number one Ratchanok Intanon 21-14, in the first game.
However, the 22-year-old, who had lost twice to Intanon previously, ran out of steam in the next two games as she succumbed 14-21, 15-21 to the Thai.
Penangite Jin Wei later lamented that she failed to repay the trust placed on her by the coaching team in fielding her as Malaysia’s number one singles player.
“My performance is still very far in every aspect compared to Intanon’s. She was very quick and flexible on the court,” said the world number 80.
National number one doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah then gave Malaysia a glimmer of hope with a hard-fought win over Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai in 71 minutes.
After being stunned 16-21 in the first game, world number 11 Pearly-Thinaah stepped up a gear and went on the offensive to clinch the next two games 21-19, 21-17 to make level the tie at 1-1.
Commenting on their performance, Thinaah said they were happy that their plan worked and grateful to have contributed the only point for the country.
It was then Dutch International Series champion Myisha Mohd Khairul’s turn to try and clinch Malaysia’s second point when she took on Pornpawee Chochuwong in the second singles.
Despite going down fighting 20-22 in the first game, the 19-year-old Malaysian ran out of steam in the next game as the 24-year-old Pornpawee strolled home 21-10 to put Thailand 2-1 up.
In the second doubles, Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard clinched the winning point for Thailand when they brushed aside Malaysian scratch pair Valeree Siow-Teoh Mei Xing 21-9, 21-14.
In the last match, Busanan Ongbamrungphan ousted Tan Zhing Yi 21-19, 21-6 to wrap up their second group victory in a row after thrashing Egypt 5-0 yesterday.
Although they are out of the quarter-finals, Malaysia, who last reached the last eight in the 2010 edition, still have one last group tie to play – against minnows Egypt – tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Denmark made sure they joined Thailand in the quarter-finals from Group C after dumping Egypt 5-0 in the other tie.
- China bt France 5-0
- Denmark bt Algeria 5-0
- Taiwan bt Germany 5-0
- India bt Canada 5-0