BAMTC: Malaysia fall to China as q-final jinx strikes again


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia again failed to break their quarter-final jinx in the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship (BAMTC) when they were edged 3-2 by China’s second stringers at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday.
Malaysia got off to a great start when top men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia scored the first point by defeating Lei Lan Xi 21-16, 22-20.
But defending champions China drew level when world number 101 women’s singles shuttler Gao Fang Jie fought back from a game down to stun two-time world junior champion Goh Jin Wei 15-21, 21-13, 21-19 after a titanic 70-minute battle.
China then went 2-1 ahead when He Ji Ting-Zhou Hao Dong edged Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 24-22, 21-18 in men’s doubles.
Malaysia, however, were thrown a lifeline by world number five women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, who battled for 76 minutes to tame Liu Sheng Shu-Tan Ning 21-17, 12-21, 21-19 to make the score 2-2.
But China, despite playing without their top stars, were not to be denied as they clinched the winning point courtesy of world number 110 Feng Yan Zhe-Huang Dong Ping’s stunning 21-15, 25-23 win over Malaysia’s world number six Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing in mixed doubles.
In today’s semi-finals, China will take on India, who ousted Hong Kong 3-2 in the other quarter-final tie, and South Korea will square up against Thailand.
The four semi-finalists have earned automatic spots in the 2023 Sudirman Cup to be held in Suzhou, China from May 14-21.
Malaysia had earlier finished as Group B runners-up after losing to Thomas Cup champions India 4-1 on Thursday (Feb 16), having started their campaign with 5-0 victories over hosts the UAE and Kazakhstan.
Malaysia have never gone past the quarter-finals in the BAMTC, having crashed out the last eight in the first edition in 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam and the 2019 edition in Hong Kong.
The 2021 edition in Wuhan, China was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.