Malaysia stun Japan with 3-2 comeback win and qualify for BATC semi-finals

All hail the savior!

SHAH ALAM – World number 126 Leong Jun Hao rescued Malaysia from the clutches of defeat after scoring the game-winning point against Japan with a 3-2 victory in the final group match at the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2022 yesterday (18 Feb).

This much-needed win has guaranteed Malaysia a spot as the semi-finals as well as the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok in May.

Malaysia stun japan with 3-2 comeback win and qualify for batc semi-finals
Photo from Facebook/ Badmintonwithu2013

Lee Zii Jia secured the first point for the team after surviving a grueling three-set battle against Riku Hanato.

However, Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles bronze medalists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik failed to continue the winning streak after falling to Ayato Endo-Yuta Takei in straight sets.

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Malaysia then proceeded to lose the third game and trailed 1-2 despite Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin’s best efforts to take down Koo Takahashi in a nail-biting 76 minute match.

Thankfully, men’s doubles Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Mohd Rumsani restored the hopes of Malaysian fans after winning 17-21, 21-17, 21-17 over Shuntaro Mezaki-Haruya Nishida, tying the score at 2-2.

Leong told Stadium Astro that he had never been in a tense situation like this before.

I’ve never played in a team event where the score was 2-2. I’m grateful I was able to contribute the winning point. It was a stressful scenario because the Japanese put me through a lot of ordeals.

“I simply told myself to keep calm and take it one step at a time,” he added.

Malaysia’s men and women’s team will be facing South Korea while Singapore will take on Indonesia after crushing Kazakhstan 5-0.

READ ALSO: Lee Zii Jia Establishes His Own Badminton Club And Appoints Indra Wijaya As Coach

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Cover image via Facebook/ Badmintonwithu2013

Editor: Sarah Yeoh