Thomas Cup: Break down the Great Wall of China

Chengdu: The national badminton team is expected to face a tough task in their mission to break down China’s ‘Great Wall’ by defeating the hosts in the semi-finals of the Thomas Cup 2024 tomorrow, reaching the final for the first time in 10 years here. There is.

However, Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) coaching director Lexi Mainakee said to overcome the steady cheers of the home fans expected to pack into the Chengdu Hi-Tech Sports Zone Center for the match scheduled for 5pm. We hope that the national team players will show an active performance.

“China has the same strength in singles, but I think they have a 50-50 chance in doubles.

“They may be under pressure considering their position as hosts. Malaysia should take the opportunity to show their best performance and just enjoy tomorrow’s semi-final,” he told Malaysian media. Told.

Yesterday, Malaysia defeated 2014 champions Japan 3-1 to reach the semi-finals for the first time in eight years, while China also defeated defending champions India 3-1.

At the same time, Lexi reminded the players not to get distracted by their success against Japan and to focus on facing China now.

The record of the last four matches between Malaysia and China in team competitions since 2010 has not been in Malaysia’s favor, with all losses.

The last time the two teams met in a Thomas Cup competition was in 2012 in Wuhan, China, where the hosts defeated Malaysia 3-0 in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Indonesian doubles experts highlighted the performance of No. 1 singles player Lee Ji Jia and No. 2 singles player Leong Jun Hao, who contributed to Malaysia’s victory over Japan and showed an impressive performance. praised.

He said that Jiyi Jia’s calmness led to the world No. 10 player’s good performance, and that the situation inspired Jun Hao’s spirit, which led to a solid performance in the third match.

Ji Jia easily defeated Kenta Nishimoto 21-13, 21-3 to contribute to his first goal, while world No. 37 Jun Hao defeated Koki Watanabe, No. 22, 21-13, 21-3. They surprised us 21-10 and scored their second goal. Earn points in the third game.

Despite getting off to a good start in the first set, Lexi fell apart in the next two sets due to a too passive performance in 2022 World Men’s Doubles Champion Aaron Chia vs. Seo Woo-ik, and Takuro Hoki vs. Yugo Kobayashi. He conceded that he lost 21-18, 14. 21, 19-21.

“Go Se Fei-Nur Izzuddin Ramsani also looked too passive in the first set, like Aaron-Uyi Ik, but there was a slight change in the second set, and in the third set he looked too passive. “I gained momentum until I disrupted the opponent’s pace,” he said, “and then I controlled the match.”

Size Faye-Nur Izuddin emerged as a hero with his come-from-behind victory over Akira Koga and Taichi Saito, finishing the match 18-21, 21-15, 21-12, with Malaysia taking one point. , rekindled hopes of ending the 32-loss streak. An annual title drought in the world’s most prestigious team badminton tournament.

Meanwhile, Lexi said that the role of psychologist Frederick Tan, who was brought in by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) since February, has started to be effective in helping the players win yesterday’s match against Japan. He said that’s when he helped him maintain his mental strength. .

The 2024 Thomas Cup is scheduled to end on Sunday. – Bernama

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