Monday, May 16, 2016
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
The heroics of Hong Kong’s top two singles players couldn’t save the team from going down to Indonesia in the second session of the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2016 today.
Yip Pui Yin and Cheung Ngan Yi won hour-long matches to put Hong Kong 2-1 ahead, but Hong Kong’s lack of depth showed as they went down 2-3 to Indonesia in an Uber Cup Group C tie. This was Indonesia’s second win after they beat Bulgaria yesterday, while Hong Kong slumped to their second defeat.
Yip was involved in a 70-minute slugfest with Maria Febe Kusumastuti that finally swung the Hong Kong player’s way towards the very end: 21-19 12-21 21-18.
Indonesia struck back in doubles through the new combination of Anggia Shitta Awanda/Greysia Polii (featured image) over a similar scratch pairing in Tse Ying Suet/Yuen Sin Ying 21-10 21-16.
Cheung had picked up Hong Kong’s only point in the team’s defeat to Thailand yesterday. She once again gave Hong Kong hope with a battling 21-16 12-21 21-16 result over Fitriani Fitriani. However, Hong Kong did not have the quality to follow up. Ng Tsz Yau/Nga Ting Yeung and Ng Wing Yung couldn’t provide much resistance to Della Destiara Haris/Rosyita Eka Putri Sari and Hana Ramadhini respectively, as Indonesia eased towards victory.
In Uber Cup Group B, Korea rolled over Mauritius 5-0.
In Thomas Cup Group C, Malaysia enjoyed a quick workout over Germany, with none of the matches going over 40 minutes. Germany, fielding a young squad, enjoyed some bright spells. Kai Schaefer, playing the opening singles against Lee Chong Wei, showed plenty of pluck to remain level until 19 in the first game. Once Lee surged past, the Malaysian extracted several errors from the German in the second to ease home 21-19 21-15.
“It was awesome,” gushed Schaefer, despite his loss. “I’ve never played in front of such a good crowd and against one of the best guys in the world. In the second game, couldn’t keep my focus at the beginning but fought well in the second half of the game.
“I was ready from the beginning. My coach told me to just try to win the next rally. I think his speed wasn’t that high, I expected higher. I knew I had nothing to lose. I just wanted to control the speed, not to play so fast, because then he would counter. I tried to take speed off the rallies, and then keep pushing. I’m happy with the way I played, but I wish I was more focussed in the second game.”
Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong made it 2-0 beating Richard Domke/Fabian Holzer and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin followed soon after, 21-7 21-16 over Lars Schaenzler.
Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and Chong Wei Feng completed formalities in the last two matches.
Group D saw Chinese Taipei beat New Zealand 5-0, with none of the matches going to three games.
Group C: Malaysia bt Germany 5-0; Group D: Chinese Taipei bt New Zealand 5-0
Group C: Indonesia bt Hong Kong 3-2; Group B: Korea bt Mauritius 5-0