AARHUS (Denmark) (Oct 12): The young Malaysian Uber Cup squad completed their campaign with a shocking 4-1 defeat by Canada in their last Group D match at the Ceres Arena here last night (early today in Malaysia).
National singles shuttler S. Kisona, who was rested for the match against China on Sunday, played in the first singles but it was clear to see that she was far from her best and suffered a huge setback against world number 183 Talia Ng.
The 23-year-old Kisona managed to go toe-to-toe with the Talia until 6-6 in the first game before a lapse in concentration saw the Canadian bag seven straight points en route to winning it 21-9.
In the second game, world number 53 Kisona again started well to lead 5-1. Then, her game fell apart as Talia regained control to romp home 21-14 to put Canada 1-0 up.
In the first doubles tie, world number 68 Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling raised Malaysian hopes with a dominant performance in the first game against world number 20 Rachel Honderich-Kristen Tsai to win 21-13.
However, the more experienced Rachel-Kristen stepped up a gear to win the next two games 21-10, 21-14 for Canada to take a 2-0 lead.
Canada then clinched the winning point through world number 185 Rachel Chan, who needed just 33 minutes to outplay world number 123 Eoon Qi Xuan 21-12, 21-13 in the second singles tie.
Although Canada had won the match, Malaysian scratch pair Go Pei Kee-M. Thinaah made sure the team did not suffer a whitewash when they delivered the country’s first – and only – point by defeating Catherine Choi-Crystal Lai 21-12, 21-13.
“This is the first time we have been paired up. We didn’t think too much about it and just went all out. Although we are happy that we won, we are also sad because the team lost,” said Thinaah.
In the final tie of the night, 18-year-old K. Letshanaa ran out of steam after winning the first game against Wen Yu Zhang in the third singles to go down 21-17, 16-21, 21-12.
This Uber Cup campaign has proven to be a humbling experience for the young Malaysian team, who came to Aarhus with hopes of making the quarter-finals.
Instead, they head home after failing to get past the group stage with three straight defeats – 4-1 to Denmark on Saturday (Oct 9), 5-0 to China on Sunday (Oct 10) and now 4-1 to Canada – to finish at the bottom of the group.
With only the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals, China and Denmark have booked their berths in the last eight with two wins each. The group winner will be decided on Tuesday, with China the clear favourites against the hosts.
While the Malaysian women’s Uber Cup campaign ended last night, the men’s team are set to start their Thomas Cup journey on Tuesday (1 am Wednesday Malaysian time) when they take on Canada in their opening Group D tie.
Malaysia, who are expected to beat Canada and confirm their quarter-final berth, will wrap up their Group D fixture against Japan on Thursday (Oct 14). There are only three teams in Group D after England pulled out earlier.
Indonesia bt Thailand 3-2
Taiwan bt Algeria 5-0
Indonesia bt France 4-1
Taiwan bt Tahiti 5-0
South Korea bt Egypt 5-0
Japan bt Germany 5-0 – Bernama