Thomas Cup: Malaysia to face Japan in quarterfinals

CHENGDU, May 1 (Bernama) — Malaysia drew with Group B champions Japan in the quarter-finals of the Thomas Cup 2024 to be held here tomorrow (May 2).

Malaysia, who advanced to the quarter-finals as Group D runners-up, last faced the 2014 champions in the last tournament in Bangkok.

Malaysia defeated Japan 3-2 in the last Group D match two years ago.

If the national team defeats Japan, they will have a chance to play host country and Group A champion China or reigning champion and Group C runner-up India in the semi-finals.

Akademi Badminton Malaysia’s coaching director Lexi Mainakee Lexi commented on the draw, saying that despite the lack of strength in the singles team at the moment, they still have a chance to play against Japan in the second and third singles. I believed that.

“We have a 50-50 chance in doubles. What we need to strengthen is concentration, commitment and psychology, and that’s all we need to do (before the quarter-finals),” he said. He spoke to Malaysian media here.

Professional men’s singles shuttler Li Zhijia is the only Malaysian player ranked in the top 10 in the world rankings, while other players such as Leung Junhao (world No. 37) are ranked outside the top 30. The safest bet would therefore be for Malaysia to pick up the points. , Chem June Wei (world No. 63) and Justin Ho (world No. 233).

On paper, Japan has the upper hand in the men’s singles camp, with Kodai Naraoka (world No. 6) followed by former two-time world champions Kenta Nishimoto (world No. 12) and Koki Watanabe (world No. 21). Champion, Kento Momota.

Malaysia started their Group D campaign in style by defeating Hong Kong last Saturday and Algeria last Sunday, also winning 5-0, before losing 2-3 to Denmark and finally finishing on Tuesday. took the lead in Group D.

Meanwhile, 14-time Group C champions Indonesia will face Group A runners-up South Korea on Friday.

If the 2016 champions defeat Group B runners-up Taiwan, Indonesia could face Denmark in the semi-finals.

The semi-finals of the Thomas Cup 2024 will be held this Saturday, and the final will be held this Sunday.

— Bernama

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