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Malaysian Badminton Pair Goes Down Fighting As Scoreboard Freezes

Malaysian Badminton Pair Goes Down Fighting As Scoreboard Freezes

Not a single Malaysian player made it to the semi-finals.

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The last surviving Malaysian badminton players in Malaysia Open 2023 had been knocked out.

Men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi lost to the world no. 1 doubles from Indonesia, Fajar Alfian and Rian Ardianto (Fajri), at the Axiata Stadium on Friday (13 Jan).

Men’s doubles player Teo Ee Yi returning a shot against the Indonesians. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Ong and Teo displayed a convincing game when they won the first set 21-14.

However, the Indonesian pair did not give up quickly in the second set and took an 11-8 lead before the break. 

The situation put pressure on Ong and Teo, forcing them to make simple mistakes.

Malaysia men’s doubles player Ong Yew Sin (right) takes a shot against the Indonesians. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The second set ended with the Indonesians winning 21-16 and taking the match to the third set (rubber set).

The rubber set saw the Indonesian pair display a more aggressive playing style and attack frequently. 

Malaysian supporters cheered the national players throughout. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

They also outmanoeuvred the Malaysian in terms of speed before winning 21-17.

The high drama paused when the scoreboard suddenly froze, with the Indonesians leading by 19-15.

After trying unsuccessfully to get the system working, the umpire called for the game to proceed.

The scoreboard freezes as the rubber set near the end. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Earlier in the day, national mixed doubles Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei lost to the second-ranked pair, Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, from Thailand, in a two-set match.

The national doubles, ranked 17th in the world, started the game quite aggressively in the first set before narrowly losing 19-21.

Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei (right) in action during the quarter-finals. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Following the defeat, the Malaysian mixed pair vowed to improve their performance.

Reaching the quarter-finals in our first big tournament together is a good achievement but we’re not satisfied with this.

National mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei on their results.
Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei (right) in action during the quarter-finals. (Pix: Fernando Fong)
Chen Tang Jie reacts after dropping a point. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Some fans did not try to hide their disappointment and noted that other countries are fast catching up, if not already better than Malaysia.

Others said the blame had been unfairly pinned on top national singles player Lee Zii Jia.

Lee, who is world no. 2, shockingly crashed out in the very first round of the tournament.

READ MORE: Indoor Draught Causes Lee Zii Jia’s Early Exit In Malaysia Open 2023

Lively Atmosphere

Nevertheless, many fans supported the national players and cheered them on even when they lost.

Many fans also turned up at Axiata Arena to show their support.

Some said the ticket price was worth paying as there was plenty of action on the courts.

Malaysian singles player Ng Tze Yoong catches a breather during his game against Kodai Naraoka from Japan in Round 16. (Pix: Fernando Fong)
Badminton fans turn up in droves to support the Malaysian players at Axiata Arena. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Many games went into the third set, making badminton lovers happy, especially those in the super fans seating category.

The super fans tickets are the most expensive, costing as much as RM700 depending on the match day selected.

Badminton lovers in the super fans seating had the best chance for selfies and autographs. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

At the same time, fans thronged the Axiata Arena to take advantage of great deals on badminton products and merchandise.

Fans also relished taking selfies with the many badminton superstars at the tournament.

Malaysian singles player Goh Jin Wei (left) gets up close and personal with fans at Aciata Arena. (Pix: Fernando Fong)
Malaysian mixed doubles player Chen Tang Jie acknowledges the fans. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

This is the first Malaysia Open to hold a Super 1000 status and the first of the 2023 Badminton World Federation (BWF) world tour.

Korean duo Kim So Yeong (right) and Kong Hee Yong. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

A total of 64 players participated in the singles matches, while 86 pairs participated in the doubles matches.

Some top-seeded players competing this year include Viktor Axelsen, Carolina Marin, PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy and Tai Tzu Ying.

Ace Indian player HS Prannoy discussing strategy with his coach during the quarterfinal stage. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The tournament’s final match will take place tomorrow (15 January).

Fans are advised to plan their timing as a huge crowd is expected due to Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s concert at Bukit Jalil Stadium next door.

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