HANGZHOU: The national men’s badminton team suffered a disappointing first-round exit in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games after going down to South Korea at the Binjiang Gymnasium today.
The first-round defeat to the Koreans was a bitter pill to swallow for Malaysian fans back home.
National No 1 Lee Zii Jia, ranked 16th in the world, lost 14-21, 21-14, 18-21 in three sets to Jeon Hyeok-jin, ranked 47th in the world.
Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, levelled the tie at 1-1 with a convincing 21-17, 21-9 victory over Seo Seung Jae-Kang Min Hyuk but their gallant effort could not prevent the Malaysian team’s exit since the normally reliable Ng Tze Yong, ranked among the top 20 in the world was totally outplayed by Lee Yun Gyu, a player ranked 119th, who triumphed 21-11, 21-16.
Boosted by the result, South Korea’s second men’s doubles pair Kim Won Ho-Na Sung Seung simply overpowered Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 21-16, 21-18 in straight sets to walk away with a 3-1 victory and earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
As medal hopes have already evaporated in the team event, the players will now start focusing on the individual events that are expected to start on Monday.