Thursday, February 8, 2018
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Chinese Taipei earned a crucial 3-2 victory over Thailand in men’s team Group C of the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 in Alor Setar, Malaysia, yesterday.
The continental team championships serve as qualifying events for the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok in May.
Group C in the men’s team competition is the ‘group of death’ as it has three powerhouses – Malaysia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei – besides Myanmar, competing for two quarter-final places. The four semi-finalists at the Badminton Asia Championships will automatically qualify to the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.
Thailand, who had earlier beaten Malaysia on the opening day, drew first blood as Khosit Phetpradab beat Wang Tzu Wei 21-19 21-17 in 40 minutes.
However, Chinese Taipei’s strength in Men’s Doubles came to the fore. French Open champions Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang (featured image) stormed past Kittinupong Kedren/Dechapol Puavaranukroh 21-16 21-7 before Hsu Jen Hao made it 2-1 for Chinese Taipei beating Kantaphon Wangcharaoen 21-17 21-16.
Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han clinched the tie for Chinese Taipei winning the second Men’s Doubles 21-15 21-17 over Tinn Isriyanet/Kittisak Namdash.
Thailand reduced the margin to 2-3 with Pannawit Thongnuam beating Lin Yu Hsien 21-18 21-19 in 41 minutes.
In another Group C tie, Malaysia routed Myanmar 5-0.
In Group D, Indonesia beat Philippines and India outplayed Maldives, both by 5-0 margins.
In the women’s team competition, all the favoured teams routed their opponents 5-0.
Japan, fielding a strong squad, beat Hong Kong without dropping a game. Nozomi Okuhara led from the front, beating Cheung Ngan Yi 21-14 21-19.
She was backed by Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi and Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota in doubles and Sayaka Sato and Aya Ohori in singles, all of whom won their matches in half-an-hour.
Group A: China bt Singapore 5-0
Group B: Korea bt Kazakhstan 5-0
Group B: Japan bt Nepal 5-0
Group C: Malaysia bt Myanmar 5-0; Chinese Taipei bt Thailand 3-2
Group D: Indonesia bt Philippines 5-0; India bt Maldives 5-0
Group W: Japan bt Hong Kong 5-0
Group X: Korea bt Maldives 5-0
Group Z: China bt Singapore 5-0
Group Y: Malayia bt Philippines 5-0