RIO DE JANEIRO: Top Malaysian men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong stunned the world’s number one pair Lee Yong Dae-Yoon Yeon Seong from South Korea to qualify for the men’s doubles semi-finals at the Rio Olympic Games here yesterday.
Displaying an aggressive attacking game when it mattered most, the Malaysians marched into the semis with a 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 win in 86 minutes, in securing only their second win over the Koreans in eight encounters.
Fighting tooth-and-nail in the decider, the Koreans made a last ditch attempt after trailing 13-18 and narrowed the gap to 19-20 before the Malaysians finished them off and now await their semi-final encounter scheduled tomorrow.
V Shem-Wee Kiong will take on Chai Biao-Hong Wei in the last four after the Chinese pair went the distance to beat Russian pair Valdimir Inaov-Ivan Sozonov 21-13, 16-21, 21-16 in 56 minutes.
The victory in the quarter-finals boosted Malaysia’s medal hopes in the Olympics.
In the other semi-final, world number four, Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan from China will take on Britain’s Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge.
The Chinese pair who lost to the Malaysians in three sets during the group matches, defeated Korean world number three, Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang 11-21, 21-18, 24-22 in a match that lasted 73 minutes.
The British pair claimed a semi-final berth after a hard-fought 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa in their quarter-final encounter.
Meanwhile, Wee Kiong said they would go all out in the semi-finals after a morale boosting win over the Koreans.
“We stood the pressure and went into attacking mode in the decider. We have confidence to move further,” he said.
However, women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo Kah Mun-Woon Khe Wei failed to pull off an upset in their quarterfinal match after going down to world number one pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Akahashi of Japan.
The Japanese pair won 21-16, 18-21, 21-9 in 76 minutes.
However, the Malaysian pair can still walk with their heads high since it was the first time that they managed to take a set from the Japanese after failing in seven previous attempts.
“We couldn’t sustain the pressure from the Japanese pair in the decider,” said Kah Mun after the gruelling match.