KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia picked up four valuable points to boost their chances of making it to the semifinals of the 2014 Axiata Cup after beating European All Stars 4-0 at the Bratama Arena in Jakarta, Monday.
Malaysia, playing without the suspended world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei, are currently fourth in the standing behind leaders Indonesia who have 18 points, Thailand (15) and Asian All Stars (12).
Liew Daren who has been given the task to lead the challenge, lived up to expectations by beating Brice Leverdez from France, 21-13, 14-21, 21-18 to earn the first point before Tee Jing Yi contributed the second point after winning her first match in the campaign against Kirsty Gilmour from Scotland 21-11, 14-21, 21-18 in the women’s singles.
Men’s doubles pair Tan Boon Heong/Tan Wee Kiong came on to give Malaysia the third point after beating Russian pair Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov 21-23, 21-8, 21-12 while mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Lai Pei Jing completed the rout by defeating Scotland’s Robert Blair/Imogen Bankier, 21-16, 23-21.
Malaysia who beat Vietnam and the Asian All Stars in their first two matches lost the third and fourth fixtures to Indonesia and Thailand, respectively.
After today’s matches, all teams will have two remaining fixtures to complete the preliminary stage and earn the four semifinal slots.
The semifinals will be held at the Cheras Badminton Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 6 and 7.
Malaysia face the Philippines while Indonesia take on Europe, tomorrow.
Eight teams are participating in the Axiata Cup, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Asian All Stars and European All Stars. – Bernama