Thomas Cup 2022: Malaysia springs biggest surprise in group stage
The first three days of the BWF Thomas Cup Finals 2022 passed by pretty much without a hitch as the better teams predictably won their matchups. And then there was Malaysia on Group D.
The Malaysians achieved what can be considered the biggest upset in the round robin phase of the tournament. They beat Japan, 3-2, becoming the only non-Pot 1 team to finish first in their group.
World number six Lee Zii Jia overcame men’s singles number two Momota Kento, 21-17, 21-8. At 46 minutes, this turned out to be the shortest match in the tie along with the first doubles.
Speaking of the first doubles, Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin pulled off the rug from under their higher ranked opponents, 21-19, 21-16.
Tsuneyama Kanta kept Japan’s hopes alive with a 21-16, 22-20 win over Liew Daren. The skirmish lasted for an hour.
However, the southeast Asian squad closed it out in the second doubles. Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi dealt with Koga Akira and Watanabe Yūta in 50 minutes, 22-20, 21-17.
Japan consoled itself with a token victory in the third singles, as top 20 player Nishimoto Kenta defeated 124th ranked Leong Jun Hao, 21-6, 19-21, 21-15.
Malaysia faces India in the quarter-finals at 7pm. Japan goes up against Chinese Taipei at 2pm.