Malaysia rues injuries after loss to China in BATC final

Injuries to key players cost Malaysia the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2024 title after losing to China in the final.

The absence of world No.10 Lee Zii Jia and No.15 Ng Tze Yong was too much to handle for the hosts. On the weekend, China pulled off a 3-0 sweep in the final and denied Malaysia of defending its men’s title in Selangor.

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Zii Jia went down with a sinus problem, while Tze Yong sustained a back injury, leaving the Malaysians handicapped. Former Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao and doubles shuttler Hakl Nazri took their place, but both fell against the Chinese juggernaut.

Weng Hong Yang took down world No.38 Jun Hao, 21-19, 21-17, while Lei Lanxi beat Eugene Ewe Eon, 21-10, 21-14. Men’s doubles pair Xie Haonan and Zeng Weihan defeated Aaron Chia Teng Fong and Soh Wooi Yik, 21-16, 16-21, 23-21, to complete China’s sweep.

Nazri, Malaysia’s third singles shuttler in place of Tze Yong, never got to play as China settled the score early.

Wooi Yik refused to blame Zii Jia and Tze Yong’s absence for their loss. But he said it should be a wake-up call for the Malaysians moving forward.

“This is a good experience for us to face,” Wooi Yik said. “I always think positively and believe this will make us stronger.”

“The (2024 Paris) Olympics are coming soon, and we could be facing more challenges in the lead-up to that,” the doubles shuttler added.